The energy utility said a joint operation was carried out by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Hawks. They searched the suspect’s residence in Kagiso west of Johannesburg and found 598 illegal prepaid vouchers as well as R8‚500 in cash. A case of fraud has been opened.
The arrest took place while another major case involving ghost vending was under way at the Palm Ridge Regional Court‚ also in Johannesburg. “The four accused now face a lengthy prison sentence after they were found guilty on over 16‚000 counts related to electricity theft‚” said Eskom. Sentencing in this case is expected next month.
“The buying and selling of illegal prepaid electricity vouchers is a crime that has taken root in many parts of the country‚” said Dileep John‚ Eskom’s Head of Operation Khanyisa‚ the national campaign aimed at fighting electricity theft.
“Many might think it’s a victimless crime‚ only affecting Eskom. But this is not the case. The loss of revenue suffered by Eskom due to this crime contributes to the need for the national power utility to increase the tariffs charged to paying customers. The price for ghost vending is‚ therefore‚ paid by society as a whole‚” John said.
“So it is important that everyone helps kill the market for ghost vendors by refusing to buy illegal electricity vouchers and reporting suspected ghost vendors..”