An official from an independent contractor of City Power has been arrested, after allegedly trying to solicit a R3 000 bribe from a resident in Midrand, north of Johannesburg.
"The resident's electricity account was in arrears and was served with a disconnection notice on Wednesday. It is alleged that the official then approached the resident the same Wednesday afternoon and informed her that she was there to disconnect the electricity," said Johannesburg executive mayor, Herman Mashaba.
Mashaba said the contractor then informed the resident that, if she paid her R3 000, her electricity would not be disconnected.
He said the resident had agreed to pay the money but said she only had R1 500 and requested that the official returned on Friday to collect the remainder.
"The resident then informed the city's Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) team, which set up a sting operation together with the members of the Hawks," said Mashaba.
When the woman arrived to collect the remainder, she was arrested.
"I am disturbed that this is becoming a trend in Johannesburg. Earlier this month, a contractor was also arrested for trying to solicit a bribe of R4 000 from a resident in Helderkruin, west of Johannesburg," said Mashaba.
"In the context of the city's billing challenges, acts of corruption only serve to worsen the difficult circumstances which our residents have been forced to live under for years," he said.
Mashaba said corruption had no place in the current administration.
"We will work tirelessly, and in collaboration with institutions such as the Hawks, to ensure that it is eradicated and that residents of Johannesburg receive the quality services they deserve."
"I would also like to encourage residents to report any fraud and corruption activities through our 24 hour tipoff hotline 0800 002 587 or visit the GFIS offices situated at 48 Ameshoff Street in Braamfontein."
The official will appear in the Midrand Court on Tuesday, September 26 2017, where she will be officially charged for fraud.