The portfolio head of Environment and Infrastructure Services has cautioned underprivileged communities to guard against the dangers of illegal electrical connections.
Cllr Mpho Moerane’s warning comes on the heels of increased law enforcement around curbing electricity theft, and the electrocution of people in the City’s informal settlements due to illegal connections.
The Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) says Kanana informal settlement in Region A is one of the many hotspots identified by City Power where the problem of illegal connections persists.
“Illegal connections lead to overloading of the network, which causes frequent outages, as seen this past winter. Not only do illegal connections cost the City millions in lost revenue, but they are also a danger to residents, especially children,” Cllr Moerane explains.
He notes that City Power will intensify the cut-off of illegal connections across Johannesburg while continuing with an education drive about the dangers of vandalism and illegal connections.
“I urge councillors and other community leaders to assist us in this regard. The City is engaging with other departments to ensure that informal settlements receive essential services, including legal electricity,” he says.
Cllr Moerane has noted a worrying trend of an increase in vandalism and theft of infrastructure across the City’s seven regions.
“Streetlights seem to be the target, with some around Lenasia, and other areas mowed down in what we see as a serious crime against the state,” he says.
The Government of Local Unity is appealing to law enforcement agencies to arrest culprits found breaking the law.
“They need to ensure that perpetrators are found and brought to book. We are also appealing to communities to report any acts of vandalism they witness around their areas to the police,” says Cllr Moerane.