This Corruption Perception Index (CPI) forms part of SDN’s ‘‘Promoting Accountability in the Electricity Sector’’ project. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the project is designed to help reduce corruption in the electricity sector, in particular at the distribution stage of the energy cycle. It aims to contribute to improved power provision by promoting greater mutual accountability between electricity distribution companies and consumers.
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The report finds that corruption is prevalent in the BEDC distribution area, and that power consumers, BEDC employees and the distribution company (DISCO) itself are complicit. Common forms of corruption include illegal connections to the grid, the evasion or underpayment of bills, and the partial or complete diversion of load from the visibility of the metering system.
Key issues include that:
• The solicitation of bribes by BEDC employees is a recurring problem.
• A crucial factor enabling corruption is poor metering of consumers, and a reliance on estimated billing.
• Most respondents do not think that BEDC is doing enough to tackle corruption in its service area.
• Respondents are willing to report incidents of corruption but do not know the channels to do so.
Based on these and other findings, key recommendations for the following stakeholders include:
• Ensure consumer awareness of corruption issues by integrating education and support into their operations.
• Provide clear complaints channels.
• Strengthen internal monitoring and response systems.
• End estimated billing.
• Report corruption when identified.
• Identify service delivery problems and make reasonable complaints relating to them.
• Insist on metered billing.
• Develop a national action plan to tackle corruption in the electricity sector