The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is considering giving new meters to at least 25 000 residents who have not been paying for electricity as their meters had been tampered with.
The municipality believed this could speed up the process of replacing about 44 000 outdated and faulty domestic meter boxes, the municipality’s acting executive director for electricity and energy, Peter Neilson, said in a report before a municipal public account committee meeting yesterday.
The municipality has set aside R88-million for the project, which could take up to three years.
At the meeting, ANC councillor Ncediso Captain asked for details on how the R88-million was going to be used.
“We have requested an amnesty programme for all residents with meters that have been tampered with, and changing them without imposing penalty to customers, so that we can start generating the revenue,” Neilsen said in response.
He said this proposal would be taken forward to the standing committee meeting on May 26.
“If we don’t give customers the amnesty it will mean they have to pay a fine before we install the new meters.”
He said residents whose electricity accounts fell under the indigent policy would not be affected by the changes, although their meters were also set to be changed.
It is not yet clear if this project will go out to tender or will be done by municipal employees.