After failing to pay an R406 000 bill, City Power unplugged the lights at the Nigerian consulate in Johannesburg.
A visit to smaller businesses in and around Alexandra, Wynberg, and Kew marked the beginning of Day Two of City Power’s three-day revenue collection drive in Region E.
Unpaid invoices from the bulk electricity supplier are R4 billion, and Region E’s defaulting companies owe it R363 million.
A spokeswoman for City Power, Isaac Mangena, stated that they aimed to collect R36 million of this debt in the next three days.
The organisation visited the region’s large enterprises on Tuesday alongside the metro police, which Mangena described as the “low-hanging fruit.”
He said they were businesses which could afford to pay their massive bills, but chose not to.
On Wednesday, City Power officials said many of the businesses visited on Tuesday paid up after being cut off.
One such business was a church which owed R740 000.
The church was able to pay more than R200 000 of its bill after being cut off on Tuesday.
Wednesday began with a visit to the Nigerian consulate in Illovo. However, it shut its gates and refused City Power entry to the property.
When it was clear that no officials were going to meet with City Power, the entity cut off the consulate’s electricity.
From there, officials went to The Catalyst Hotel, which they said owed R1.1 million.
General manager Robert Chifunyise said they were aware of the billing issue and had been trying to engage with the City.
“As a client, it’s frustrating we can’t resolve this issue. It’s so hard to consult with the City, but so easy for them to cut us [off].
“We’re engaged with consultants, but it’s not as easy as showing them the bill – and City Power knows it.”