City Power, an electricity distribution company in South Africa, has cut off power supply to the Nigerian consulate in Johannesburg over “unpaid bills”.
The DisCo claimed the consulate owed at least R600,000 (about $35,000) on Wednesday.
“Our revenue collection effort around the Alexandra Service Delivery Center is in its second day” (SDC). The Nigerian Consulate General in Illovo, which owes @CityofJoburgZA at least R600 000, was where we started, according to a tweet from City Power.
The Nigerian consulate reportedly closed its doors and forbade City Power from entering the structure, according to City Power’s representative Isaac Mangena.
He added that the consulate’s electricity was cut off when it was clear that no officials were going to meet with the DisCo.
In a statement on Wednesday, the consulate faulted City Power’s actions, saying it was a violation of international treaties.
The consulate said an investigation would be launched to address the “illegal violation”, saying the electricity company arrived “without prior notice and disrupted services”.
The statement states, “The Nigerian Consulate General in Johannesburg hereby condemns the invasion of its premises by officers of Johannesburg City Council on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, ostensibly on a debt-recovery exercise.”
“The invading squad, which included representatives of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), City Power, and the press, arrived at the consulate without an appointment or previous warning and interfered with regular consular functions.
“The consulate contends that the officials’ actions, regardless of their justifications, were a flagrant violation of existing international laws and conventions, particularly the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, which ensures the confidentiality of consular premises.
Because of this, the consulate general “has, through diplomatic channels, conveyed the displeasure of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the South African Government with a demand for a thorough investigation to be conducted into the illegal violation of the consulate general’s premises and appropriate remedial measures to be taken to forestall recurrence.” In addition, the consulate wants to apologize to the general public for the service disruption brought on by the invasion and reassure everyone that normal consular operations have been resumed at the mission.
Residents of South Africa have been protesting prolonged power outages for years due to the country’s ongoing energy problem.
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According to TheCable, nationwide violent protests erupted as people’s discontent with the issue grew.
The administration responded by saying it was on track to approve a law accelerating power projects but warned that electricity shortages would last until 2024.
- Tijani Pepper is a news reporter at Panel News, and gistreportar. He is a passionate journalist in Politics, Sports development and investigative journalism.
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