City combats electricity and non-payment
By Celeste Ganga
19 April 2008
The City of Cape Town’s Electricity Department has a Revenue Protection Unit that is constantly on the trail of those who tamper with and bypass electricity meters - therefore recovering approximately R10 million each year that would otherwise be lost to the City.
“The unit is constantly out there in the field. We are recovering electricity which is used and not paid for. This benefits all consumers within the City because it prevents the increase of tariffs,” says Head of the Unit, Neil Ballantyne.
He adds that the total system losses currently running at 9.3%, “this is made up of technical and non-technical losses. The technical losses on a predominantly cable network are in the order of 6%, which means that the loss due to tampering and bypassing is in the order of 3.3%”.
Ballantyne says that the team is recruiting more members and that these figures can be improved upon.
“The City has to pay Eskom for all electricity consumed. If we don’t receive payment for the consumption that is “stolen”, our electricity tariffs need to be increased to recover the cost of this “stolen” electricity and therefore every electricity user is affected,” explains Ballantyne.