Electricity thieves lose power

Tshwane metro electricity loading illegal electricity cables in Mamelodi. Photos: Supplied.

Tshwane metro workers surprised residents of an informal settlement in Mamelodi who had illegally connected electricity by raiding them on Friday.

They pounced on the unsuspecting residents during the multi-disciplinary operation and removed illegal electricity connections in extension 1 and 17 in Mamelodi East.

This follows the regular power interruptions caused by illegal connections from occupants of Mountain View informal settlement.

The unlawful connections have been a bone of contention between formal home owners from extension 1 and nearby informal settlement occupants for a period of time resulting in clashes between the two communities.

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Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga previously visited the area with the aim of quelling tensions and identifying long-term solutions to the practice, and has at numerous occasions condemned the disregarding of the law and the safety considerations of fellow community members.

“Not only are these connections illegal, but they are unsafe and pose a serious danger to the community. People have lost lives before from this improper practice,” said Msimanga.

“Equally, this unlawful act carries huge financial implications for the city in terms of revenue collection and costs for replacement of infrastructure.”

“While we understand the plight of our people to decent housing opportunities with rudimentary services, we cannot condone the disregarding of the rule of law.”

Acting chief of metro police Jenny Malan confirmed that all resources were in place to conduct the operation.

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“The joint operation was conducted by the Tshwane metro police, electricity personnel and the SAPS,” said Malan.

“Electricity personnel removed all illegally connected electricity cables which are clearly visible in OR Tambo Street in extension 1 and Mokgetle Street in extension 17.”

Customers affected by power failures were urged to report this by texting the word “power” followed by their account number to 44676.

Alternatively, report power failures through the customer care call centre on 012-358-9999.

Metro police may also be contacted at 012-358-7095/6.

Tshwane metro electricians loaded illegal electricity cables in Mamelodi. Photo Supplied.

 

Tshwane metro electricians hard at work removing illegal electricity connection in Mamelodi.

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  AUTHOR
Stephen Selaluke
Mamelodi journalist

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