electricity disconnection - Soweto - Eskom - City of Johannesburg
On 10 September 2010, the Johannesburg High Court ordered Eskom to reconnect the electricity supply to 420 flats in Chiawelo, Soweto, by no later than 15 September 2010. The order was made in response to an urgent application brought by the residents of the Tshaiwelo (or ‘Chiawelo’) Flats with the assistance SERI Law Clinic.
The residents said in their court papers that the decision to disconnect their electricity was made without notice to them and without granting them a reasonable opportunity to make representations. That, they said, rendered the disconnection illegal. The order, which was made with the consent of Eskom, also requires that Eskom engage with the residents in order to address their complaints relating to inaccurate billing. In their papers, the residents said that they were being billed for electricity consumed by previous occupiers of their flats and that Eskom would not open new accounts until they had paid off the previous occupiers’ arrears. Also, the residents complained that Eskom seldom came to read their meters; did not accurately record their consumption and often failed to record their payments to it. Eskom may not disconnect the residents in future except on 14 days’ notice.