City Power to continue removing illegal connections across Joburg

City Power
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City Power says it will continue to remove illegal connections at informal settlements across the City of Joburg in an effort to save lives and not lose further revenue.

Officials have been at Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, cutting illegal electricity connections at two informal settlements.

Last week a 7-year old child in the area died after being electrocuted from contact with exposed live wires.

Johannesburg’s City Power has removed illegal electricity connections at two informal settlements at Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg.

Last week, a 7-year old child in the area died after being electrocuted from contact with exposed live wires.

City Power to cut illegal electricity connections in Ennerdale:

Local football coach, Anthony Reeves, has welcomed City Power’s action but has added that informal settlements should be legally connected to the power grid.

“Thanks to the SABC for highlighting the child’s death and the problem we have here. But this quick reaction by the electricity department and JMPD to remove the cables. But it’s not the solution. The solution would be to put electricity for those people. Because what is going to happen is that they are going to come back and put electricity again.”

City Power estimates that it loses billions of rands due to illegal connections. Its spokesperson Isaac Mangena says there are 211 informal settlements in the city that are illegally connected to the grid. He’s added though that townships and suburbs are also part of the problem.

“The problem of illegal connections is a serious problem for us as the city of Johannesburg. And we have been telling the communities about the losses that we are experiencing as the city about 20 billion annually that we are losing due to non-technical losses which includes illegal connections. During the time where we are going through a pandemic, where people are actually working from home, these illegal connections are causing explosions on our networks and it means that the paying customers in Ennerdale will be suffering.”

This woman whose electricity connection was cut today has been living in the area for at least four years. She says they are willing to pay for electricity, but says the city is not making the service available to them. She says iZinyoka or electricity thieves charge them R800 to connect.

“They charged me R800 to connect for me. They then said I have to pay R50 every month for the service. And every month I give them. But sometimes I happen not to have it. Where would I take it.”

While City Power says it will do its best to remove all illegal connections, the residents are adamant that they will simply reconnect, despite the potential dangers.

City Power can’t bring services to informal settlements that have not been proclaimed: Isaac Mangena