Sanco wants Sowetans to pay flat rate for electricity

Soweto residents this week accused Eskom of carrying out arbitrary and discriminatory electricity disconnections at both nonpaying and paying households.

The power utility says the blackouts were caused by illegal connections by some residents.

Electricity was eventually restored in Dobsonville this week after clashes between police and residents during which actor Patrick Shai was shot.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) says a flat rate for electricity could solve the nonpayment problem. Fin24 ran the story, saying Soweto ANC councillor Mpho Sesedinyane believes a proposal for a R150 monthly flat rate per household for electricity could be a starting point to address the country's non-payment woes. The flat-rate proposal was the brainchild of Sanco – a nonpolitical organisation which advocates on behalf of communities in engagements with government and other service providers.

Joanne Joseph on Afternoon Drive speaks to Sanco regional organiser Thomas Thaga for more.

It is practical what we are suggesting. We are always informed by our daily life activities and this time around I must make it clear that this thing of us the poor to be told by the rich how to live our poor lives must come to an end.

Thomas Thaga, Sanco regional organiser

As much as Eskom is able to give a golden handshake of R30 million from us the poor, it is because that's how they tell us to live our poor lives.

Thomas Thaga, Sanco regional organiser

All Johannesburg residents who qualify to pay R150 per household per month should be given the opportunity to do so. We are not talking on behalf of those who are running businesses or those who can afford.

Thomas Thaga, Sanco regional organiser

We are talking on behalf of those who cannot pay for electricity and resort to illegal means. Those who are able to pay will not connect illegally.

Thomas Thaga, Sanco regional organiser

Regarding a Soweto debt of close to R20 billion to Eskom, Thaga says the figure includes those of places such as Orange Farm.

Listen below for more...


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