The City of Cape Town has issued a warning for locals to be careful of a scam artist posing as a City employee in the Strand area.

A person, claiming to represent the City as part of an electricity and/or water meter upgrade project, has fleeced unsuspecting residents out of thousands of rands.

Three reports have been received in the Strand area.

According to the City, the fraudster allegedly indicates that pensioners are being prioritised for upgrades. They are then convinced to part with significant amounts of cash on the premise that his colleagues will arrive the following day to complete the work.

“The City can assure members of the public that this is not the way we do things. Our field staff do not handle cash. All such transactions are done at the City’s customer care centres or via the appropriate electronic channels. We ask our residents to be vigilant,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area East, Councillor Anda Ntsodo.

While the City is currently rolling out an electricity meter replacement programme, the planned replacements are free.

The City says they do targeted marketing and mailbox drops of any planned work to be carried out in an area.
Any member of the public can verify whether visitors to their home are in fact employed by the City by:

– phoning the Call Centre on 0860 103 089 to confirm whether work is being carried out in their area
– informing the official that they will allow them entry only once the Call Centre has verified their identity

Residents may also ask for a letter of appointment outlining the purpose of the project on a City-labelled letterhead, signed by a City official with contact details on the letterhead.

Residents should please inform the South African Police Service as well as the City if they are approached by potential criminals.

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.