New law allows heavy fines for cable theft and illegal connections

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Image: The Caleb Motshabi Power Station in Bloemfontein, where deputy minister of Energy, Thabisile Majola addressed the community at an Imbizo on matters pertaining to electricity. Credit: Pulane Choane

Speaking at a fitting venue, the Caleb Motshabi Power Station, Deputy Minister of Energy, Thabisile Majola, warned the community plagued by electricity theft of the harsh implications of stealing electricity if they are caught.

Majola informed the audience of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act, which came into force late last year and told her listeners that if found guilty, criminals could face jail time or hefty fines as “cable theft is considered an economic espionage crime.”

Majola also warned the community to put an end to illegal connections and cable theft as it sabotages the communities and exposes the children in the community to premature deaths due to live wires and other consequences of these crimes.

Also present at the event, Centlec CEO in the Free State, Nzimeni Mgoqi, confirmed Majola’s words and also informed the community on the dangers of illegal electricity connections and the costs of replacing stolen cables. “There is a task team at Centlec known as the Revenue Protection team, that audits homes in the Mangaung metro towns and when a person is found guilty of illegal connections or electricity theft, the fine for this crime is R10 000. If they find that you have a business, you will be fined R34 000 and your electricity meter will be confiscated until you pay the fine,” Mgoqi said. He further pleaded with the community to expose and report illegal connections, cable and electricity theft cases to Centlec at 051 409 2345. He also added that to decrease bribery cases, Centlec is working with the police to open criminal cases against these perpetrators.

The CEO said this at an Imbizo where deputy minister of energy ambassador, Thembisile Majola was also present.

Pulane Choane- Courant News