BOPHELONG. – Community members chased away a contractor installing new electricity meter boxes in Bophelong recently. The members said that when they first saw the installation of the new boxes, they thought that the contractor was replacing the old ones.
Tladinyana Motaung of Extension 10 said they were informed by a worker that the community was now going to pay for both water and electricity consumption.
Immediately, the community members organised themselves and within minutes, they attacked the contractor whose workers were advised to leave the area.
By that time, however, new boxes had already been installed at a few houses.
Rumours were also that when electricity is purchased, half the amount will be deducted for rates and services (Masakhane). An urgent meeting hosted by Sanco and EFF was held at Asedi.
In that meeting, the community was spitting fire. They said they will never bow down to the Emfuleni Local Municipality, ELM.
ELM spokesperson Stanley Gaba said the new boxes were for electricity only:
“The municipality will install the smart water meter system at a later stage.It is not true that the contractor has lied to the families. There’s an agreement form signed by the households and everything was explained as to how the meter system will operate.”
The smart meter system was introduced by former ELM Mayor Gretha Hlongwane and her executive. Current Mayor Mahole Mofokeng also relaunched it last year.