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Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal residents need to be on high alert as there is a team of men operating under the guise of municipal-appointed contractors, pretending to install smart metres. This is being done in order to gain access to various homes.
This comes after the uThukela District Municipality was alerted to suspicious contractors who claimed to be tasked with installing smart meters. But, upon request from cautious residents could not provide identification.
“It must be mentioned that the municipality has suspended all smart meter projects with immediate effect. Drawing from this, we distance ourselves from this malpractice and strongly advise residents not to fall victims to such scam,” stated the Communications Unit.
Concerned resident, Earl Astor said that with all the theft and robberies going on, it was concerning that these individuals were attempting to gain entry to homes.
He described them as aggressive and forceful people. “I hope this can be resolved quickly by the relevant people responsible for this.”
Additionally, Astor stated that the alleged contractors threatened residents who did not want to have the smart meter installed, saying that they would have a problem if they refuse.
Astor highlighted that when he told the individuals that the project had been halted by the municipality, one of the men said he was aware of that. But he said that he had since obtained a contract or letter of appointment (fraudulently) with the Municipal Manager’s signature.
Adding to this, a resident, who requested to remain anonymous, said the bogus contractors came to his home and spoke with him. They drove an unmarked vehicle and according to the resident, the men did not look presentable. They carried no identification, except a photocopied letter notifying them about the installation of the smart metres.
With the threat of crime following the team of suspected fiends, the District Municipality is encouraging residents to remain vigilant and report all suspicious behaviour to the Ladysmith SAPS on 036 638 3316.
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