Thousands of people have been queuing to get their electricity reconnected in Nelson Mandela Bay. This follows the municipality cutting off electricity accounts to over 34,000 households, who were receiving Assistance to the Poor (ATTP) benefits, because the account holders died.
The queues stretch all over the townships and the city. At the municipality’s Customer Care offices in KwaNobuhle township, Uitenhage, the queue was one of the longest, and started as early as 7am on Wednesday morning.
Property owner must reapply for ATTP benefits
Nelson Mandela Bay mayoral spokesman George Geleba said between March and May last year letters had been delivered by hand to 34,057 households who were receiving ATTP benefits even though the account holder was deceased.
“In terms of the ATTP policy, beneficiaries of a deceased property owner must re-apply for ATTP benefits once the account holder has passed away.”
On 6 August a final notice letter was posted to the 20,299 households who had not responded, Geleba said. Ward councillors were asked to call public meetings to remind the households to reply before the deadline of 30 September, and messages were sent to the cell numbers where numbers had been registered.
“Loud hailing was undertaken daily by officials from 12pm to 6pm in the affected wards during the period 16 to 30 September 2019, to remind beneficiaries of the deadline of 30 September 2019,” he said.
Electricity cut in December 2019
Those who had not re-applied found their electricity accounts