Johannesburg – The Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau, says a year-long investigation into corruption and fraud cases at the City of Johannesburg has resulted in 22 arrests.
The arrests include two City Power employees, two City of Johannesburg officials as well as external contractors and members of the public.
Briefing media in Johannesburg on Thursday, the Mayor said it was believed that as a result of the fraudulent activities, R200 million had been lost in revenue.
The city has recovered R107 million of the revenue lost.
Mayor Tau said he could not divulge the details of the cases as he did not want to jeopardise further arrests, but said 30 other large power users were believed to be involved in defrauding the city.
The city, which has been working with the National Prosecuting Authority, the SA Police Service and the Hawks to develop watertight cases against those that have been arrested, instituted an investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption in 2013.
Mayor Tau said 109 cases of fraud and corruption were currently being investigated.
“We originally had 48 cases and in the past two weeks we discovered an additional 61 cases. In the next two weeks we expect to make 10 more arrests,” Mayor Tau said.
He thanked members of the public who had made assisted investigations by making anonymous tipoffs.
“We have been able to make some of these arrests as a result of anonymous leads given by some community members. We are grateful for the contributions that community members have made in these investigations,” he said.
Power outages in Johannesburg
Meanwhile, the Mayor used the opportunity to explain that recent power utages in Johannesburg were not as a result of load shedding, but criminal activity.
“The city has been a victim of deplorable acts, which have resulted in unplanned outages that have been experienced by some customers. We are dealing with power outages caused by criminal activities,’’ he said.
Thirty-two percent of power failures experienced each month were as a result of theft and vandalism, 16 percent were caused by damage by third parties and 12 percent were related to stolen cables and illegal connections.
Residents could report anonymous tip-offs on illegal connections, cable theft vandalism and tempering with the City’s systems on 0800 002 587.
Incidents of vandalism and cable thefts could be reported to 011 490 7911/7900/7553