Parliament, Monday, 20 March 2017 – The Portfolio Committees on Public Enterprises and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) will, from 22 to 24 March 2017, hold hearings on the petition lodged by residents of Soweto against Eskom’s decision to install prepaid electricity meters.
Public Enterprises Committee Chairperson, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi said that as far back as 2015, residents of Diepkloof and Orlando East in Soweto have been petitioning the National Assembly to prevent Eskom from proceeding with the installation of prepaid electricity meters on the basis that they were never consulted and never consented to such.
In their petition, the more than 50 residents who are also pensioners claim that the prepaid electricity meters were forcefully installed without their consent and public participation. They further say Eskom never responded to the community’s petition that was delivered to Eskom on 29 July 2013. As such, they want Parliament to intervene to stop the project and facilitate public participation.
Ms Letsatsi added that, in handling this matter, the Committee wrote to Eskom to ascertain some of these complaints from residents. In their response, Eskom had assured the Committee that there were consultation meetings regarding the prepaid metering and that residents understood the process. However, the Committee believes that Eskom’s response lacked detail in some aspects; hence the Committee deemed it necessary to call all the affected parties under one roof to properly acquaint itself with the real status quo of the situation.
These residents also want Eskom to grant senior citizens 100% rebates on their electricity. They also requested accurate billing, and the cancellation of three-year-old debts for pensioners.
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