In its recently released anti corruption initiative, the electricity provider said it aims at increasing all needed utilities that would help in fighting against the scourge of corruption and misconduct by some of its officials‚ service providers‚ and customers.
According to City Power, corruption and fraud have impacted negatively on its overall business and performance.
The utility went on to say that its newly improved initiative will give much more attention to high-risk areas around metering‚ namely applications for new meters‚ relocation and re-connection of existing meters as well as the procurement processes within City Power’s supply chain unit.
“The area of metering was identified as a high-risk area where unscrupulous officials and service providers offer customers stolen meters that have been tampered with‚ swindle customers who submit smart meter applications and offer illegal re-connections to those customers that have been disconnected due to non-payment‚” the company said in a statement.
The utility’s Board Chairperson Reverend Frank Chikane also added that the company has dealt with 851 criminal cases in the past financial year and surprisingly, out of the 851 cases filed with the South African Police Service (SAPS), 707 is about cable theft. Others include malicious damage to property and meters‚ including domestic and large power users. 782 arrests have been made to date with 274 convictions already he added.
Prior to this time, City power spokesperson‚ Yumna Sheik pointed out how the ratification of the Criminal Matters Amendment Bill 2015 was a huge source of encouragement to them especially as the bill is expected to empower prosecuting authorities to apply more stringent sentences to suspects convicted of cable theft.
“City Power is confident that the imposition of maximum sentences will serve as a deterrence to those who selfishly regard electricity infrastructure as an easy source of revenue‚” she said after which the company restructured its operations following mandates from Executive Mayor Parks Tau to review its business models.
However, the Utility’s MD Sicelo Xulu also said the company has launched a number of initiatives to tighten internal controls and stop the scourge of cable theft adding that the realignment of operational structure put the utility in the best position to achieve its revised business mandate.
“Our intelligence has cracked down the huge syndicates and we’ve made huge arrests and we are following up on those cases,” he said
“This new operating structure is indicative of an organisation that is agile and responsive to the changing operating environment. This new structure will unlock value‚ improve customer service‚ streamline operations and enhance inefficiencies.”