- Soweto remains one of Eskom's biggest payment defaulters
- Despite this, many residents still refuse to pay their electricity bills
- However, Eskom has been criticised for failing to switch off the township's power
Soweto residents are still refusing to pay their electricity bills, claiming that the ANC promised them free electricity.
This comes as Soweto owes Eskom R17 billion, making it one of the power utility's biggest debtors.
While some residents have claimed they cannot pay for the electricity, others have instead set up illegal power connections.
Eskom has announced plans to install more prepaid meters in Soweto in an attempt to reduce the number of illegal connections. These meters make it more difficult for people to tamper with the electrical system.
However, some residents say they will boycott the meters. A few have reportedly said that the ANC promised them free electricity while on the campaign trail. Others say they simply don't have the money.
As a result, Soweto owes a hefty sum to the cash-strapped parastatal. Its total debt to Eskom is more than the amount owed by 50 other municipalities combined. Despite this, Eskom has refused to switch off Soweto's power.
This decision drew widespread condemnation from the public, with many claiming that Eskom was "afraid" of the township. Many citizens demanded that Eskom's electricity be shut off if it still failed to pay its debts.
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