Movement says Soweto won't pay for electricity: More protests planned

Movement says Soweto won't pay for electricity: More protests planned

- Some Soweto residents are adamant that they will not pay for electricity

- Gauteng Electricity Movement members are planning to mobilise citizens to join their boycott

- This follows an unsuccessful attempt to shut down Soweto on Tuesday

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Soweto residents are currently locked in a battle against Eskom over their R18 billion outstanding municipal debt.

Members of the Gauteng Electricity Movement now say that they refuse to pay for electricity and plan to rope the entire country into their boycott.

SABC reports that leaders of the movement, which consists of community organisations from across the province, briefed the media following protests. reported that Tuesday had seen community members engaging in a Soweto Shutdown protest in retaliation against measures put into place by Eskom in a bid to clamp down on non-paying consumers.

READ ALSO: Soweto shutdown: Residents protest over Eskom's electricity clampdown

These efforts had included disconnecting those who failed to pay from the grid and installing prepaid meters. Homes that were illegally connected to the grid were also disconnected.

Eskom says that around 60% of the 200 000 South African households are guilty of tampering with prepaid meters.

However, the protests had evidently failed to inspire residents to take to the street, with only small number of people taking part.

Nevertheless, the movement insists electricity is a basic human right and not one they are prepared to pay for.

Leaders of the movement claim that the bills received from Eskom are an alleged attempt by the government to recover funds lost through corruption.

Among other demands, the leaders called for an end to load-shedding, the scrapping of prepaid meters and for all the homes disconnected from the grid to be reconnected immediately.

In the movement's opinion, the protest had been a success, with claims that police intimidation had forced them to retreat.

While the movement has called for an end to nationwide power cuts, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter recently revealed that load-shedding is unavoidable and is expected to continue for at least the next two years.

This comes as the embattled power utility attempts to regain control over a fleet that has suffered years of mismanagement and neglect.

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