There is an elephant in the national electricity crisis room and the authorities are studiously ignoring it.
The amount of power stolen – or not paid for – is almost the same as the amount which needs to be load shed.
For too long, the ANC has refused to tackle the reality that millions of people have become freeloaders who are now accustomed to getting free electricity.
While it is true that there are many poor people not paying or stealing power, it cannot be ignored that there are many households which can afford to pay, but won’t.
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No doubt the decision by City Power not to prioritise those areas where the majority of residents are nonpayers will cause unrest and maybe even violence – and perhaps there will be those people who do the right thing who will be hurt.
But we have to wonder whether we need to see more of this type of attitude among our government departments.
Why should people be allowed to get away with freeloading? Why do they deserve to get their outages sorted out while the rest of us sit in the dark? Maybe it’s time for harsh medicine to save the body of South Africa as a whole.
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