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Bear with confrontations from customers, PURC tells Utility workers

The utility workers on Monday complained of attacks from the general public over anomalous electricity bills.

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Deputy General Secretary of the Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU), Michael Nyantakyi, said on Accra based Joy FM that the attack has been intense following a confirmation of the anomalies by the Public Utility Regulation Commission.

“The people come direct to the office, they talk, they abuse the staff and there are two instances like that,” he said.

Nyantakyi said in the Kade area, “they [community members] chased our people, some with even machete and then recently at Adjei Kojo in Ashaiman, our people where physically assaulted.”

According to him, people make “direct references” to PURC’s statement which said consumers of electricity are being overbilled.

But Jantuah said PURC workers have also come under similar attacks but have taken it in their stride.

“Do they know how unsafe we are as a regulator? There were times customers besieged our offices to attack us - some even went to the point of abusing staff and tearing off their shirts because they had issues.

“I’ve myself been attacked on countless occasion by customers. If they’re indeed talking about dissatisfaction then it’s not the directive that has caused this dissatisfaction – the dissatisfaction has come about because of the astronomical bills people were complaining about.

“We’re aware of the confrontations that were bound to come with it. At the time that they were fighting for an increase in tariffs, we gave them against all odds; they should learn to bear with the confrontations in the same manner.”

At a press conference on Monday, General Secretary of PUWU, Mr Ato Kwamena Bondzi-Quaye gave PURC a seven-day ultimatum to retract its directive to the ECG to suspend the use of the new billing software.

However, Jantuah said that “will not hold water,” saying it will remain in force.

“Have they asked why it took us so long to come up with the decision? She quizzed. “It took us so long because we did a thorough work on it before taking that bold step.”

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