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South Africa restores electricity to Nigeria consulate over bill arrears

Electricity has been restored at the Nigerian consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa, after city officials disconnected the power on Wednesday due to non-payment.

The consulate owes the power utility City Power over 400,000 rand ($23,000; £18,000).

Consulate staff refused City Power officials access to the property but the utility was able to disconnect the premises from the power grid remotely.

The last few days have seen revenue collection efforts by City Power to disconnect various businesses whose accounts are in arrears.

The utility is owed $232m in unpaid accounts overall.

Following the consulate’s disconnection, the Consul-general visited the City Power offices and arranged to pay a deposit of $7,000 promising that the balance of the outstanding account will be settled by the end of January.

The consulate’s power was then restored that same day.

City Power’s actions come in the midst of rolling scheduled national blackouts as Eskom, the beleaguered national power utility, struggles to keep the lights on.

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