THABAZIMBI – Powercom confirmed that it’s vending service to supply households in Thabazimbi with electricity, has been suspended at 13:00 yesterday (Thursday) and will only be continued once the overdue account has been paid by the Thabazimbi municipality.
Queries directed to a local representative of Powercom, who has its headquarters in Israel, revealed in an e-mail to one of the local users of their system, that since June 2014 to July 2015 a total of R 3.9mil has gone through the Powercom system, and they still battle to get payment. He also confirmed that Powercom is only responsible for vending and since they (Thabazimbi Local Municipality) have not paid Powercom for the system, the account for the meters supplied, is overdue since 2013.
He stressed that Powercom don’t handle any money and that the Thabazimbi Local Municipality should pay Escom. “Powercom is not the “middleman” between the municipality and Escom.”
Powercom take a small percentage for their vending services. The municipality however does not pay regularly and are months behind in paying the commission that is due to Powercom.
Powercom is also aware that Escom is also not being paid by the municipality for bulk electricity used. It was also reveiled that Thabazimbi Local Municipality allegedly used the PCMA smart meter project to prevent being disconnection from Escom in the late 2013.
Powercom suspended the vending service in Thabazimbi yesterday and instructed consumers to make sure that they have credit on your meters. By the time you read this, it is too late and you will spend the weekend or longer with candles and no hot water.
The question can be asked: What is the way forward for the residents? How can the people who rely on the pre-paid system by-pass the municipality and pay Escom and/or Powercom direct? The answer to this was that it is not possible as the MFA does not allow this by law.
Thabazimbi residents say that they pay their rates/taxes and electricity and do not know where their money is going. The situation has to be resolved.
Powercom reported that some bank deposits have been made on Wednesday, and if they get paid there will be no interruption
“Believe me, we are not like this, we have ran out of options” was the last comment made by the Powercom contact.
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