Eskom: Soweto electricity debt R3.3bn

2012-11-21 17:53

Johannesburg - The electricity debt in Soweto amounts to R3.3bn, Eskom said on Wednesday.

This was excluding the interest owed, spokesperson Hillary Joffe said.

"The payment level in Soweto is well below 20 cents. This is a historical problem, and in a sense a political problem," said Joffe.

Residents in the area were paying less than 20 cents for every R1 of electricity supplied to them.

Eskom supplies electricity directly to Soweto.

Joffe said there were many other areas which got electricity directly from the power utility, but this payment issue was specific to Soweto.

"This level of non-payment and accumulation of debt is a Soweto issue," she said.

"There are other townships and areas we [Eskom] supply where payment is above 80c."

Eskom had been speaking with its partners and the department of public enterprise to try find a solution.

"We've been developing a integrated strategy to try to curb the growing debt and promote safe and legal electricity use."

Joffe said Eskom supplied direct electricity to 40% of consumers in the country.

The majority of its customers used pre-paid meters. However, the majority of people in Soweto still had conventional meters.

"[This] runs up debt," she said.

  • vaughan.lund - 2012-11-21 18:16

    So Eskom's unwillingness to cut off the ANC's voting cattle mean that the South Africa's economy must slow die under impossibly high electricity charges.

      gestoffle.vaneerdenvark - 2012-11-21 18:42

      "Eish, but when we voted ANC we were promised free electricity" - ANC supporter

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-11-21 19:42

      This is a clear indication that what whites complain about is quite plausible and this is that black South Africans take no responsibility for what they should pay for ..after 18 years of independence they still what whatever they can get for free and hereby show scant regard for their country or UMBUNTU,which is just an African day dream!This clearly indicates that whites are quite correct when they see the majority of black South Africans as unworthy of being equals due to their dispirited out look on life that borders on a sub human lack of acknowledgement for normal civilized behavior!

      Cuteandbronzed - 2012-11-21 20:40


      nina.ignjatov - 2012-11-21 20:59

      Now this is why we have to suffer with the hikes in our bills . Very unfair, if we do not pay we get cut, and we paying for the ones that do not need to adhere to the monthly bill. Thanks ANC, with out the whites in this country you would not be able to sustain a lavished lifestyle, take a minute a think about it, if you have more than a brain cell or two.

      nina.ignjatov - 2012-11-21 21:21

      @lindiwe. Then Soweto should live like a concentration camp, NO electricity and Food!!!! You are a Simple minded individual you probably will live a life from hand to mouth, and suffer your whole life!!! This is why I thank God , I am educated, hard working and do not complain, and pay what I need to pay. I live a high life, and have expensive things, it's because, I WORK and PAY for my things!!!

      brent.bartlett.98 - 2012-11-21 23:07

      Oh boo hoo hoo Lindiwe. It's about time your people took responsibility for themselves and actually did something to build themselves and the economy. Stop hiding behind apartheid. let me tell you why I prefer employing foreign nationals - they WORK HARD - unlike any of the black South African employees that I have had in the past. It's about time people like you stopped whining, pulled together and actually do something to lift yourselves out of poverty.

      amanda.victor.92 - 2012-11-22 02:09

      It always sounds so cute when they say R3.3 billion. Let's put it another way: R3300000000.00 - that's R3.3 thousand million they owe. That's a lot of non-payment!

      John - 2012-11-22 03:26

      @ Lindiwe , that is why I cannot understand why there has not been a rush to change the name of Soweto . Why the rush to change only high profile names . I'm just asking

      darren.raath.5 - 2012-11-22 06:30

      instead of a 16% increase over 5 years why doesnt eskom put up the price by 26% so that the paying population..hey thats mostly whites..... can subsidize the previously disadvantaged...hey thats the blacks.... once again!

  • jan.v.vuuren - 2012-11-21 18:24

    And the other day I could not buy electricity because my rates and taxes was behind LMFAO!

  • Benjamin - 2012-11-21 18:24

    excuse me for asking but why is their electricity not cut off if they don't pay?

      jack.blacking.56 - 2012-11-21 18:34

      i think we all know the anwser to that

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-21 21:32

      Switch it off for just two days and see how quick the bills are paid! Of course the volume of "stolen" electricity is not known. If I am late I get warning notices and NO grace. Why should Soweto be shown a different set of rules ? Mandela wanted a non-racial and non-exclusive South Africa. Rules and policies must be dished out equally. To be unequal is un-Constitutional.

      arm.witmens - 2012-11-22 07:27

      its because they are black. Whites will be disconnected immediately and charged a re-connection fee. Simple.

      darryl.maze1 - 2012-11-22 08:38

      Because its a ANC run area and they wouldnt want to loose votes. Plus these idiots will go on a rampage through the city and do what they do best destroy to get there own way.

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-11-22 09:49

      This is not a black or white thing, it's a Soweto thing. There are many black people in other towns and suburbs that do pay their bills. The real problem is that no action is taken. They need to cut the power and if anyone who re-connects illegally must face criminal charges. It will be an ongoing battle and you cannot catch everyone but you need to be tough to change the culture of non-payment. Use garnishing orders, attach their assets, do whatever the loan sharks do to get their money. Umbuntu does unfortunately not work in a country like South Africa.

  • ianon.ym - 2012-11-21 18:24

    And one wonders WHY!!!

  • george.larkins.14 - 2012-11-21 18:26

    I wonder if their electricity are being shut down,don't think so.Just another example of DISCRIMINATION.The culture created by goverment,'If you are black don't bother to pay we will recover from the whites.INCREASE the electricity charge,and if the whites don't pay ,we shut it down.

      jack.blacking.56 - 2012-11-21 18:37

      @george.larkins.14 ...Exactly...but dont forget the amount of water they waste as well.

  • Jean-Pierre Wolf - 2012-11-21 18:31

    well well.... wtf did everyone expect... time for eskom to fade away..... time to paint my face black

      Cuteandbronzed - 2012-11-21 20:47


      frank.kistler.31 - 2012-12-04 10:01

      Hasie....a bad moon rising...hasie...trouble all the way lol

  • andries.d.plessis.9 - 2012-11-21 18:36

    Holy d0gSh|t !

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-11-21 18:39

    So I take it we the suckers that's got to pay off that debt with tarriff increases....

      dragonfire47 - 2012-11-21 18:48

      You said it 100% and at the same time a certain fat infant wants us to leave

  • alex.gush.3 - 2012-11-21 18:42

    Once again the minority have to bend over.

  • jacqui.grigg - 2012-11-21 18:44

    CUT THEIR POWER! We are all "equal" under the law. I do not pay my bills, my power gets cut off. Why would Eskom entertain this kind of favouritism for one suburb and not another. Eish. No Power No Vote. Have a banana....

      Cuteandbronzed - 2012-11-21 20:46

      Dont forget you put them there -PILLOWREAD.COM

      riaan.mostert.58 - 2012-11-21 21:04

      BlackYoungandStupid sounds better don't you think? Tsk, Tsk. Some people just have no self respect and common decency wouldn't you say? These miscreants will probably argue that paying for things is an apartheid practice (like obeying the law and not litter). And then some say everyone is created equal. Kwakwakwa.

      heibrin.venter - 2012-11-22 02:56

      @Lindiwe: and the ANC chose to keep them there. No-one has been forced to stay anywhere for the past 18 years, they could have moved?? If you don't want to better yourself (aka the 'We demand mentality) then it's your own fault.

      patrick.mbense - 2012-11-22 08:49

      Yes Lindiwe, they put them there! Even though some of these people were probably 5 when "they" put them there. Its about time we stopped hiding behind apartheid. Our government has not delivered in 20 years and the pockets of the elite are the only ones who have reaped rewards. You my girl also need to wake up and stop been so naive!

  • leonard.menge - 2012-11-21 18:50

    I live in soweto and I think the above figures are low, the real amount sowetans owe or that ESKOM must have generated from the townships could amount to 10's of billions, you know why? its because eveyone is illegaly connected to the grid. people just don't bother to pay for their dues they view electricity the same as water!! Something that is god given and gotten for free, even affluent households have bridged their meters, two months back ESKOM went from house to house checking and disconnecting illegal connections with a R2000 fine, guess what people are no longer doing the wires and meter boxes now because they know ESKOM will return with fines now a electricity voucher black market has emerged whereby you can get 600kwh for R100 which at ESKOM is R500!! don't know how this is done but I suspect ESKOM employees are involved on this....

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-11-21 19:57

      leonard it's a pity people like you and me have to carry the can for those who just don't care about playing ball.This is a huge lack of endorsement by the majority of South Africans for the ruling party..anyway you look at it!

      onlinebaas - 2012-11-21 20:47

      Thank you for an insightful reply.

      brent.bartlett.98 - 2012-11-21 23:10

      Thank you Leonard. A little honesty. You're a good man. If Soweto had more people like you this country would actually move forward.

  • sean.noble1 - 2012-11-21 18:53

    Go give them each a free meter and make sure they dont tap illegally That will cost you a couple of million instead of a couple of billion.

      amanda.victor.92 - 2012-11-22 02:11

      It is SOOOOOO easy to bypass a meter. You could do it yourself. If there is no will, there is a way to get out of paying!

  • Jean-Pierre Wolf - 2012-11-21 18:55

    eskom too scared to cut power, will cost more to replace the cable that they will steal in retaliation lol

      jc.jonck - 2012-11-22 09:23

      So? Let them steal the cables, then there is no way they will receive electricity. Maybe they would, in the process, learn not to vandalise.

  • peter.mokoena.31 - 2012-11-21 18:57

    Note some other township are up to 80% with payment, these to month does not sounds like a race problem, but location problem, after all those blacks in surburbs still pay their bills. Those of u who are feeble minded, please deal with the Soweto problem, we are all victims here, all those who pay!!

      dofeatsdog - 2012-11-21 20:12

      most white SOuth africans are only where they are because of the history of this country and you can see that by the standard of responses on these blog.... - 2012-12-04 11:39

      Well said Peter, we all have to take responsibility!

  • martin.neate - 2012-11-21 18:59

    must the whites pay for everything

      dofeatsdog - 2012-11-21 20:09

      south africa whites are so full of themselves. They think they're god's gft to this world, meanwhile all of you are nothing but hardened racists whi have contributed nothing to this world but misery. Get off your high horse....

      elgh.elgh - 2012-11-21 20:41

      Your name says it all "DOF" dofeatsdog.

      riaan.mostert.58 - 2012-11-21 21:07

      Rather a racist than a leach that contributes nothing but takes everything dufus.

  • andy.andrews.359126 - 2012-11-21 19:02

    Very sad state of affairs. Behavior like this and encouraged by incompetent governments like the ANC is the reason that the black African will never progress and will always be illiterate and poverty stricken . Basket case recipe . Sad

      simelanetb - 2012-11-21 19:26

      Andrew, you sounding illerate. The problem is in Soweto and not with all black South Africans.

  • Jean-Pierre Wolf - 2012-11-21 19:02

    indeed peter but what do we do braai for the rest of our lives ?

      peter.mokoena.31 - 2012-11-21 19:29

      We have to deal with it, can't carry certain section of our society on our shoulders, we all have to pay the same. Let's deal with the problem than pointing race according to past and future.

  • george.pito - 2012-11-21 19:04

    It sounds like apartheid

  • spiekeries - 2012-11-21 19:12

    Like I said yesterday, we tax payers have to carry the burden for ANC voters' non payment and bad planning from their masters

      amanda.victor.92 - 2012-11-22 02:13

      Yet they still get to vote over and over for the ANC. This is all part of the ANC's payment and redistribution to their voters to keep them voting....

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-11-21 19:27

    I wonder if the profit they declared on which they will base their Xmas bonus takes into account this possible write off. Sorry I forgot this has something to do with apartheid, white imperialist capital and ubuntu. Viva viva viva.

  • Terisah Risah RiRi Jeray - 2012-11-21 19:29

    y does everythng have to about race with south africans, if the kitchen gts hot gt out, like tht other guy sd its a location problem not race,read the article correctly b4 posting nonsense. im blk n i pay my bills dnt put us all in one basket.

      amanda.victor.92 - 2012-11-22 02:15

      Try typing in full words! Maybe people will understand what you're trying to say instead of guessing you're an idiot. - 2012-12-04 11:44

      Agreed Terisah, its not about race. Everyone needs to be taught to take responsibilty for themselves.

  • andy.zondi - 2012-11-21 19:42

    DUH its the township capital of SA, o course the electricity bill is that high but y r we hearing about it nw? ESKOM stop playing the victim nd accept the fact that ITS YOUR JOB to make sure municipalities pay for electricity mxm no more pity 4 u

      onlinebaas - 2012-11-21 20:49

      Good point Andy. If the CEO's get huge salaries and bonuses, surely they have money then to invest in proper governing of their resources.

  • werner.luitingh - 2012-11-21 19:48

    solution: effective management (for once)...

  • werner.luitingh - 2012-11-21 19:48

    solution: effective management (for once)...

  • sello.r.molefe - 2012-11-21 19:52

    Its totally unfair... Its an entitlement attitude of people of this country... We somhow believe the world owe us somthin

  • Gert van Coller - 2012-11-21 20:02

    So who's footing the bill? There and elsewhere? Like my aging mother, living alone, who's bill stays pretty much the same, wether she's at home or visiting my brother (for a month!)

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-11-21 20:36

    If Eskom was a business, would the owners/shareholders tolerate a R3.3bn pre-interest, non-recoverable, guaranteed-to-keep-escalating debt? Good business sense dictates that you shut it down before that debt escalates any further.

  • KCorsar - 2012-11-21 20:40

    In Ndlambe the 'indigent' are provided with 50kWh for FREE (also 10kl of water) which is nicely subsidised through a delivery levy of R153.00 pm for electricity and R65.00 pm for water.................................

  • - 2012-11-21 22:11

    Is dit een van die redes waarom Kleinsakemanne hier astronomiese prys styging van elektrisiteit moet hanteer!! Op maak !!!

  • johnny.engelbrecht1 - 2012-11-21 23:06

    Eskom!!!!!!!! f@#k you for not being man enough, been paying my electricity bill for 22 years to date. i promises you Eskom I will find somebody to bypass my box, and as soon as you eskom report the 3.3 bn was paid and proof it to the public, only then i will start paying my share.

      amanda.victor.92 - 2012-11-22 02:17

      The problem with that is because you're white, the minute they notice you're not buying electricity anymore they'll know you've bypassed the meter. They don't worry about blacks doing this though....

  • brent.bartlett.98 - 2012-11-21 23:07

    Other than the free portion of electricity they are entitled to - SWITCH THEM OFF IF THEY DON'T PAY.

  • - 2012-11-21 23:12

    Waarom betaal Soweto direk aan Eskom (betaling so min as R 20 uit elke R100.00 van die rekening!! Metro heffing is dus nie geldig vir Soweto nie!! Ek vra met 'n seer hart: !!!! Wie staan Pa om die inkomstestaat te balansseer!! Kleinsakeman!! as ook die gegoede woonbuurte!! Die HOENDER GAAN DOOD GAAN, DAN IS DAAR NIE EERS MEER 'N EIER NIE NIE!!! WORD WAKKER !!!

  • jerome.fakoe - 2012-11-22 05:52

    Switch off the power like you do with paying customers. It's simple.

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-11-22 07:37

    The small tax base consisting mainly of whites cannot continue to pay for what the anc promised in its elections ranting. When will this be sorted out, collected and accounted for?

  • juannepierre - 2012-11-22 08:02

    I want to live in Soweto, work in Marikana and have a holiday home in Nkandla. How do I make this happen?

  • psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-11-22 08:09

    "Eskom had been speaking with its partners and the department of public enterprise to try find a solution." Disconnect the debtors. It is that simple... silly, incompetent Eskom!

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-11-22 08:12

    R3.3 billion. Who's paying for it ? What happens when there is no money to take. What if others stop paying all sort of things ? Water, electricity .... Let the imagination wonder.

  • anthony.williamson.92754 - 2012-11-22 08:29

    Very sad indeed. We are all supposed to be one big team. On a soccer field if a team member is not performing he gets the bench. Install pre-paid now, suck up the cost and fix the problem instead of haveing meetings about meetings. South Africans do not need to hear this negative rubbish that you have created. To avoid further useless articles that complain when its got so bad. Why was the debtors book not dealt with when it was a million rand? Crikey, its time to smell the roses Eskom. WAKE UP and stop talking and do something about it and stop blaming your customers who know far less about business than you do. SORT IT OUT or get out. Ant

  • Blixum - 2012-11-22 08:31

    And I thought BHP Billiton was the only one receiving preferential rates from Eksdom. Soweto is getting their electricity from old apartheid installed infra-structure. Another reason to blame it on apartheid. LOL

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-11-22 08:31

    How's about this eskom!!! Cut the power off to these townships. You are always so quick to cut some hard working residents power off if they miss a one month payment. But of course its an ANC run area and they wouldnt want to loose votes. This is pathetic and you want to raise the tariffs. Why must we as hard working tax payers pay for these townships power???? No pay! No power! End of story.

  • dehlia.fredericks - 2012-11-22 08:38

    free dom! water, elec, housing, education, make a list!

  • paulo.teixeira.39948 - 2012-11-22 08:42

    still carrying on with the rates boycott! the struggle is now over you need to pay for services my fellow countrymen. Same story with the TAXI "industry" they don't pay taxes and yet they drive like the own the roards-can't have your cake and then eat it-sooner or later it will back fire.

  • marc.a.webb.14 - 2012-11-22 09:11

    There is a criminal and economic campaign happening at the moment orchestrated by our Cancerous govt designed to bring us to our knees either way.We are now seeing the blatant disregard the cANCer have for the hard working citizens with money and services being looted,and then we are expected to pay for this with inflated prices on electricity,fuel and basic services...The majority of hard working citizens simply cannot keep up anymore with rising costs for below standard services rendered.

  • elsie.vandenbergh - 2012-11-22 09:24

    We don not care about Escoms bad debt. We want to know what they are doing about it. And why all this debt was allowed in the first place. And all this in the midst of the new Credit Legislation. If I do not pay my account, I am cut off. There is no colour in money or services. Stop complaining about your bad debt and appoint proffesionals to get these people to pay if you cannot controll your accounts properly. This is very bad management! Heads need to fall in your accounts department.

  • cynic.martian.3 - 2012-11-22 10:15

    I implore the Energy Regulator to reject further tariff hikes until ESCOM proves that it has reduced non-payment and has reduced the outstanding debt - it is much easier to increase tariffs, than to confront and collect from those who owe.

  • schalkjohannes.brand - 2012-11-22 10:24

    Luxury demand work. No one deserve anything inc electricity if your not willing to work. Nothing should be free otherwise you think the worlds owes you stuff. Africa think they must get everything for mahala. Does not work that way.

  • rpm760 - 2012-11-22 10:40

    Cut them off!

  • Rebecca - 2012-11-22 11:13

    howcome I miss one month's payment and I get cut off? How do you allow a bill to escalate to that amount with no one being turned off? Double standards and those who pay are the ones that lose out. TIA

  • liz.rudy.3 - 2012-11-22 12:25

    Just to be clear - does everyone in Soweto pay 20c? If this is true, then Eksdom should start recouping the lost revenue. Last time I checked Soweto was hardly a sprawling township and it can hardly be said that everyone who lives there is poor.

  • tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-11-22 13:14

    Free electricity, free schools, free university, free medical, free rates, free water, free condoms, free Milk Shake, free Shabir Shaik. Would you then vote for someone else than the ANC? The ANC leaders' inabilty to look one day into the future and see that the milk cow is nearly dead will eventually result in our country ending up where most african countries did.

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