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20/06/2017: City reverses cancellation of City Power Lifeline Tariff
20 June 2017
It has come to our attention that as of June 2017, almost 15 000 City Power customers’ tariffs were erroneously charged a monthly service and network charge.

These customers make up some of our poorest residents and it is vital that we protect their interests and do not add to their burden.

Although a communication was sent to customers via SMS, statements and the City Power Call Centre voice recording system, I wish to clarify the reason for the additional billing.

Prior to the 2015/2016 financial year, City Power had a Lifeline Tariff for customers who had a monthly consumption of less than 500 kWh.

The Lifeline Tariff differed from the regular 2 Part Tariff, as it did not have the service charge and the network charge.

Before the introduction of the Extended Social Package (ESP), City Power used the Lifeline Tariff to grant qualifying customer’s access to free basic electricity.

However, this manner of determining the qualification of FBE was not fair, as it did not consider the poverty status and affordability of the customer.

With the implementation of the Expanded Social Package (ESP) package, this tariff was discontinued and all customers had to apply for their free electricity via the ESP programme.

It came to the attention of City Power that there were still customers who were receiving a Lifeline Tariff, even though it was no longer in existence.

For this reason, the affected customers’, who received this tariff, were migrated to the City’s ordinary tariff without due consideration of the impact this would have on some of our poorest residents.

As a result some customers had their Lifeline Tariff incorrectly removed from their May and June 2017 electricity charges on the municipal account.

I have met with officials from City Power, who acknowledge that there should have been adequate communication on this matter, and the following will be implemented to remedy the situation:

• All the affected customers bills, where service and network charges were raised, will be rectified and reversed as soon as possible;
• The current customers who are registered with the ESP and are using less than 500 kWh a month will be required to apply for a Lifeline Tariff and will be charged prepaid charges without any service and network charges; and
• All new applications and reapplications will be done and approved on an annual basis.

Last week, we met with the ESP and Social Development team within the City and agreed that all monthly applications for ESP benefits will be used to check for customers using below 500 kWh which would qualify them for the Lifeline Tariff.

As government, we will continue doing all we can to ensure we improve the services which we provide to residents and continue to ease the burden of our poorest residents.

Media Enquiries:

Luyanda Mfeka
Media Specialist: Office of the Executive Mayor – City of Joburg
Tel: (011) 407 6727 | Cell: 076 171 5978
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: www.joburg.org.za

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Last Updated on 20 June 2017