City of Johannesburg to clamp down on illegal connections

Last week, under the MMC for Finance, Funzela Ngobeni’s directive, an operation targeting properties developed without following the proper procedures in Fourways took place, under the auspices of Buya Mthetho.
“I am shocked to find that close to R9 million had been lost in revenue due to illegal connections to the City’s services by the three developments that were targeted,” director of mayoral communications, Luyanda Mfeka, said in a statement.
“The City has taken the decision to acquire the assistance of a service provider for the purpose of running an end-to-end audit of the City’s supply of water and electricity. This will be done utilising GIS and databases of the City’s infrastructure to assess every property in the billing system. It will enable the City to assess that owners are being charged according to their usage of services,” Mfeka added.
The statement also states that the aim of this process will be to identify those developments which are non-compliant and connected to the City’s water, electricity and sewer services illegally. There’s no doubt that there are individuals who are connecting to services illegally. The City is also aware that some tenants are unaware that the owners of the properties they occupy are evading the law and not paying for services.
“The City has also become aware of so called “runners” who are working with corrupt officials to illegally remove business and residential properties from the City’s database whilst illegally connecting these properties to City services.
“Illegal connections are an affront to all residents of Johannesburg. Historically, the City turned a blind eye to this lawlessness and simply burdened law abiding citizens with annual tariff increases. Lost revenue directly impacts the City’s ability to maintain our infrastructure and continue projects,” he said.
The City’s R170 billion infrastructure is of great concern, and already impacts on the City’s ability to deliver quality services. Ultimately, illegal connections hugely obstruct efforts to reduce this backlog.
To date, Operation Buya Mthetho, which launched early last year, has brought in over R1,2 billion owed to the City that would previously have been lost through illegal connections and historical debt for the non-payment of services. And it will continue to do so.
“As government, our approach will not be to continue squeezing the law-abiding, paying customers of our City, but rather those who can pay but do not. I would like to encourage members of the public that have any information about illegal connections to come forward and report it to the City’s fraud hotline at 0800 002 587. This is blatant theft, and we cannot allow law-abiding, paying residents of our City to continue footing the bill for these practices.” he concluded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *