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10/03/2016: City Power removes illegally connected cables in Zandspruit, Honeydew
10 March 2016
City Power, in partnership with, Eskom, JMPD and SAPS came together in a joint operation in the morning of 08 March 2016 to remove illegal connections in Zandspruit, Honeydew.

The removal of illegally connected cables from our streetlight poles in Beyers Naude Road is in line with City Power campaign to fight theft of electricity, vandalism of the electricity network and to ensure that electricity service we supply is safe and reliable.

City Power daily contends with unscrupulous individuals who offer illegal connection services in poorer communities. These individuals have turned this activity into an entrepreneurial venture.

We periodically conduct operations to remove illegal connections, but as soon as we leave, the services of these entrepreneurs are sought to reconnect the illegal connections.

During the operation both directions of the Beyers Naude between Johan and Peter Roads in the vicinity of Zandspruit, informal settlement were blocked by JMPD to divert traffic to other routes. Although this exercise delayed and hampered traffic flow, it was necessary to ensure safety of our employees.

Structural damage to the electricity network as a consequence of vandalism resulting from cable theft and illegal connections cost City Power R14m in the last financial year (2014/2015) while City Power made 295 arrests for illegal connections and cable theft in the same financial year.

Furthermore, the scourge of illegal connections cause electrocutions some of which end up in public fatalities including those of children who play unsuspectingly around unsafe illegal connection cables. They also cause power outages, overload the system and render our power supply service unreliable.

The removed cables in Zandspruit weighed 13,300kg and were taken away in 16 bakkies.

City Power appeals to the public to report illegal connections and cable theft anonymously at the following contact numbers: 0800 002 587 or 011 490 7504/7553/7911/7900.

Solution

City Power will be engaging with the communities to discuss a permanent solution concerning public lights. The proposed solution that is being considered is the installation of 30 meter street lights where the battery, inverter and fuses are located 10 meters above the ground, which is out of reach for a member of the public. City Power piloted the installation of 14 meter lights, but these were vandalized.

Eskom and City Power have had several discussions on Zandspruit, led by the Member of the Mayoral Committee, Councillor Matshidiso Mfikoe. Eskom raised concerns about land ownership in this area, but their concerns have since been allayed.

The discussions with Eskom resolved that the City will have to temporarily relocate people to allow Eskom to electrify the area. The Department of Housing has been hard at work trying to secure an alternative area where the residents of Zandspruit will be relocated, but this process has not been concluded yet.

The electrification of Zandspruit is part of Eskom’s 2016/17 Electrification. Currently the project is at design stage.

I hope that we can continue to work together to address these issues facing the industry. The extent to which we succeed in tackling these challenges hinges on the active cooperation of the utilities and other stakeholders including members of the public.

Issued by City Power Relationship Management

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Last Updated on 10 March 2016