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Soweto residents snub Eskom, say ANC promised free electricity

Eyewitness News logo Eyewitness News 2019-03-04 Mia Lindeque
a pole with a sunset in the background: Power line, electricity, load shedding. Image: Pexels. © Provided by KFM Radio a Division of Primedia Pty Ltd Power line, electricity, load shedding. Image: Pexels.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom said if Soweto residents allowed electricians to do their work, the utility would be in a better financial position.

While some residents said they can't afford to pay, others have simply refused and have opted to instead make arrangements for illegal connections.

The state-owned company is owed more than R17 billion in Soweto alone.

"For as long as Eskom uses coal, I won’t pay, there is politics behind it," resident Cleopatra Shezi, who doesn’t pay for electricity, said.

She has a brand new prepaid meter box which has still not been installed because she refuses.

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Shezi is one of many residents who won’t commit to paying because, in its inaugural election campaign, the African National Congress promised them free electricity amongst other basic services.

"I can’t afford to pay unless they connect us to the solar system grid."

By contrast her, neighbours are also battling to make ends meet – but try to keep up with the payments

Thabo Mofokeng said it’s been a struggle: "We live like rats, we have to do everything in the dark."

Mofokeng said despite the challenges, his family will not go the illegal route.

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(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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