The City of Johannesburg has backtracked on plans to introduce a R200 fee for residents who have prepaid power meters and will be going back to the drawing board.
City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena says the surcharge was meant to make up for an apparent loss on the city's side as well as cover operational costs.
We realise that we are losing a lot of money because what we have currently is a situation where as a prepaid customer - unlike the conventional customer where they are levied in the bill - prepaid customers are not.— Isaac Mangena, Spokesperson - City Power
These charges were to cover the operational and maintenance costs of electricity infrastructure so that electricity is available on demand by the customer.— Isaac Mangena, Spokesperson - City Power
He says, in fact, the surcharge was meant to amount up to R450.
The prepaid customers are not actually paying a lot. In fact, they do not contribute towards any cost of maintenance and operational costs of bringing the electricity to the house, so conventional users are already being levied in their account by R450.— Isaac Mangena, Spokesperson - City Power
Since we introduced the prepaid system, about 250,000 customers have moved to prepaid, which means we are losing that levied revenue that we could have been getting.— Isaac Mangena, Spokesperson - City Power
He says further consultation is needed.
Consultation was done but it was not enough, that is why we are taking it back...— Isaac Mangena, Spokesperson - City Power
Customers are very much pressed in terms of the economic situation currently, so we can't put more pressure on the customers; that is why we think before we do this let us consult extensively more than what we have done.— Isaac Mangena, Spokesperson - City Power
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This article first appeared on 702 : City of Joburg backtracks on plans to introduce new prepaid electricity tariff