Soweto residents adamant they will not pay for electricity

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Members of the Gauteng Electricity Movement say they will not pay for electricity and are planning to mobilise the rest of the country to join in their boycott.

Leaders of the movement which comprises of various community organisations across Gauteng briefed the media in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

This was following their unsuccessful attempt to shutdown Soweto and other townships.

Watch the Gauteng Electricity Movement threatening further shutdowns

The Gauteng Electricity Movement says electricity is a basic right and they are not prepared to pay for it.

They say the huge electricity bills they receive from Eskom are an attempt by government to recoup monies that have been misappropriated through corruption.

Bills are also a way for Eskom to pay back the Apartheid debt that it incurred.

They are demanding among others, an end to load shedding, scrapping of prepaid electricity meters and for all homes who have no power to be reconnected with immediate effect.

They deny that this Tuesday’s shutdown was a flop. They say they were forced to retreat due to police intimidation.

Eskom’s huge municipal debt

Eskom’s debt stands at billions of rands. That’s according to Board chairman Jabu Mabuza, who says the struggling power utility is projected to make a R20 billion loss for the 2020 financial year.

In Soweto alone, residents are said to owe Eskom as much as R18 billion, with many residents illegally connected.

Ninety nine percent of the country’s biggest township gets its power directly from Eskom.

Almost 200 000 households have prepaid meters. Eskom says 60% of these households are guilty of some form of tampering.

Additional reporting – SABC Digital News