[Right of reply — Eskom misleads West village consumers.]

West Village, a suburb of Krugersdorp supplied by private distributor West Rand Power Distributors (WRPD) are locked in dispute resolution processes with Eskom over unilateral and unjustified additions to the WPRD bill from Eskom in 2017, alleging that due to retrospective rebilling, WRPD owed Eskom over R23 million.

WRPD disputed this amount and requested proper details from Eskom, claiming that at all material times paid it has paid the account in full to ESKOM. Eskom failed to provide proper billing, to which WRPD registered a dispute with Eskom, following the correct protocols.
Eskom again failed to provide proper accounting for the retrospective billing but reduced the outstanding claim to R19m, again without explanation.

WRPD contacted Energy Expert Ted Blom in November 2018, who immediately registered a dispute with the Energy regulator Nersa. Ms Amanda Mtembu and her team were allocated by Nersa to hear the dispute in March 2019.

At the hearing, Eskom again failed to justify their claim, and the meeting, with Eskom concurrence, declared that Eskom was to submit audited accounts for WRPD account by end April 2019, before the resumption of the hearing.

To date, Eskom has NOT submitted the audited accounts, yet at the end of October 2019, illegally terminated supply to WRPD. This decision was reversed the same day by an URGENT court interdict by WRPD, with Eskom agreeing to restore power as their actions were illegal.

Against the above background, Eskom’s statement is clearly intended to ensure dissidence amongst WRPD customers, of whom over 300 filed complaints against Eskom on Sunday 19 January 2020.

Those complaints will be delivered to Eskom before the closing date for objection today. For Eskom to state that it has NOT received objections before the closing date has expired, is misleading. WRPD reserves its rights to take the appropriate action against Eskom.

Energy Expert Ted Blom has reviewed Eskom’s practice of retrospective billing and states that this behaviour by Eskom officials is reprehensible and unconstitutional. He will be raising this matter at the forthcoming Nersa hearings and has advised WRPD to fight this behaviour on behalf of all electricity customers – up to the constitutional court if needs be.

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