City power, a electricity distribution company in South Africa, has cut off power to the Nigerian consulate in Johannesburg over “unpaid bills”.

On Wednesday, the DisCo said the consulate owed at least R600,000 (about $35,000).

“We are in our second day of fundraising campaign at Alexandra Service Delivery Center (SDC). Here we start with the Consulate General of Nigeria in Illovo which should @CityofJoburgZA R600,000 minimum, and they were cut off,” City Power tweeted.

Isaac Mangena, a spokesman for City Power, said the Nigerian consulate closed its doors and refused City Power entry to the building.

He added that the consulate’s electricity was cut when it was evident that no official was going to meet with the DisCo.


In a statement Wednesday, the consulate criticized City Power’s actions, saying it was a violation of international treaties.

The consulate said an investigation would be launched to address the “illegal violation,” saying the power company arrived “without warning and disrupted services.”

“The Nigerian Consulate General in Johannesburg hereby condemns the invasion of its premises on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 by officials of the Johannesburg City Council allegedly in a debt recovery exercise,” the statement read.

“The invasion squad, consisting of officials from the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and City Power, as well as members of the press, arrived at the consulate without prior notice or appointment and
interrupted normal consular services.

“The consulate maintains that the action of the officials, regardless of the justification, was in total violation of current international treaties and conventions, especially the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which guarantees the inviolability of consular premises.

“Accordingly, the consulate general, through diplomatic channels, conveyed the dissatisfaction of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Government of South Africa, with a demand that a thorough investigation be carried out into the illegal breach of the consulate general premises and appropriate corrective measures. measures taken to prevent recurrence.

“Furthermore, the consulate wishes to express its condolences to the public about the interruption of services caused by the invasion and hereby assures that normal consular services have been restored in the mission.”

South Africa has been experiencing an energy crisis for years with residents protesting long hours of power cuts.

The Wire had reported Violent protests broke out across the country amid growing frustration over the issue.

In response, the government said it was on its way to pass a law accelerating power projects, but noted that electricity shortages could continue until 2024.