The City of Johannesburg is intensifying its fight against illegal electricity connections.
This week, City Power – the City’s power entity – swooped on the Lawley informal settlement in Lenasia South, south of Johannesburg, in partnership with the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and national power utility Eskom to disconnect power to freeloaders.
According to City Power spokesman Sol Masolo, the aim of the joint operation was to rid the system of freeloaders, whose illegal connections overloaded the network and caused power interruptions, resulting in loss of revenue for City Power and businesses. Masolo said residents knew that illegal connections caused unplanned outages.
“Illegal connections are a danger to society. Children die from stepping on or touching exposed wires that carry high volumes of electricity,” he said.
JMPD officers kept watch as Eskom and City Power technicians tore down illegal connections and insulated wires. Many of the residents said they were tired of living in fear and wanted to do the right thing by paying for their electricity consumption. A ward committee member who declined to be name said residents were worried that there would be unrest if electricity supply was cut off. Three truckloads of insulated wires and other material used for illegal connections were removed from the informal settlement.
Residents are urged to assist City Power in its fight against illegal connections by calling the anonymous tip-off hotline number 0800 002 587.
It says their information will be treated in the strictest confidence.