Power outage at FS Legislature offices due to non-payment

Electricity supplier, Centlec, has confirmed the power outage at the Southern Life Building in Bloemfontein was due to non-payment.

This comes after OFM News was told by employees that electricity supply to the building, which is home to the Free State Legislature’s offices, the Road Accident Fund, Legal Aid and two commercial banks, was cut yesterday, leaving employees in the dark. Centlec spokesperson, Lele Mamatu, says the supplier had been conducting maintenance operations on their network – which includes checking revenue collection – on Tuesday. This is when they discovered the landlord had defaulted on payment. Opposition parties in the province have alleged the owner of the Southern Life Plaza building is a close Ace Magashule ally, Isaac “Blacky” Seoe, who was found guilty on charges of fraud and corruption related to tenders awarded to his company by the Free State government. Mamatu says power has since been restored to the building.

Mamatu says power was restored to the building after the landlord engaged with Centlec and arrangements were made to settle the debt. In response to questions about reconnection fees, he says whenever power is disconnected, a reconnection fee must be paid to restore power. Mamatu declined to comment on the exact amount of the reconnection fee.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the province have in a statement alleged the electricity bill is more than R500 000. They further allege the bill was not paid following the seizing of Seoe’s assets by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit as possible proceeds of crime.