Thursday, 04 August 2022 21:50

Call to apply in Amnesty Programme for water and electricity theft.

Staff Reporter.

The City of Tshwane has urged residents who have tampered with the water and electricity network to use the grace period to come clean and apply for amnesty to avoid fines and criminal charges.

The call follows the Amnesty Programme for theft of water and electricity launched this week. This is for residents and business owners guilty of electricity and or water theft to apply for amnesty to be exempted from prosecution and fines under certain conditions.

The city’s Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Finance, Peter Sutton said the Amnesty Programme will run in partnership with law enforcement agencies from 01 August to 30 September 2022.

The amnesty period aims to assist residents and business owners who are guilty of illegally connecting to the electricity and water network, and benefitting from these services without being measured and paying for consumption; tampering with an electricity and/or water meter, resulting in the measuring of incorrect or lower consumption; and illegally reconnecting and electricity and or water meter after a credit control disconnection.

The amnesty period also aims to assist residents and business owners who are guilty of paying a bribe to remove an outstanding amount on an account or paying a bribe to illegally open a new municipal account without following the official process; and paying a bribe to have an electricity and/or meter bypassed to record incorrect or lower consumption.

Conditions for the granting of amnesty

To qualify for amnesty, the applicants must complete the application detailing how the illegal connection was made; who facilitated illegal connection and/or fraud on the account; how and to whom money was paid to facilitate the tampering; and the amount paid and how frequently the bribe money was paid (monthly or once off).

Benefits of applying for amnesty

Sutton highlighted that some of the benefits of applying for amnesty include that, in the case of successful of those implicated in the affidavit, the metering will be corrected and the account holder will start paying for services correctly from the date the amnesty is granted.

"The tampering and illegal connection fine will be waived [and] no criminal charges will be levied against the person or company granted amnesty," Sutton explained.

Sutton also warned that the city has increased the fines for illegal connections and electricity theft to R200 000 for individual and household accounts, and R10 million for business accounts.

"In addition to these fines, we will also lay criminal charges and pursue recovery of lost income. We have established a highly skilled multidisciplinary revenue – collection team for this purpose, to which we have allocated R68 million in this financial year,"Sutton said.

The amnesty application form is available at www.tshwane.gov.za, where an icon on the landing page of the website, which will, direct you to the amnesty page where you will be able to download the form.

"The amnesty application form will also be made available at all city’s customer care walk-in centres across the seven regions of Tshwane. A dedicated email address has been created for this purpose where the forms can be submitted at amnesty@tshwane.gov.za," the MMC said.