Delft South councillor Dineo Masiu said residents had begun to get anxious after spending several days without electricity. File picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Delft South councillor Dineo Masiu said residents had begun to get anxious after spending several days without electricity. File picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Illegal connections leave many Cape communities in the dark

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Jul 7, 2021

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Cape Town - Three hundred households in Delft South are sitting in the dark as they wait for Eskom to resolve the area’s electricity issues allegedly caused by rampant illegal connections.

Delft South councillor Dineo Masiu said residents had begun to get anxious after spending several days without electricity due to persistent electricity thieves making illegal connections, damaging the area’s electrical infrastructure.

“We’re battling with electricity issues in this community, unfortunately illegal connections are a big part of our struggles and we are struggling to stamp them out. They usually occur on the borders of existing communities and pieces of land that were recently invaded.

“Currently, hundreds of residents have been living without power because of these connections, and it’s not only that – we’ve had incidents of fires as well sparked from these makeshift points that are costing us, said Masiu.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is that as a community we all play a part in making sure our community does not suffer at the hands of a few individuals. Like Eskom, we’re also calling on people to please report these connections. When we don’t, vulnerable people suffer as well, the elderly, the sick and everyone.”

According to Eskom, Delft, along with Wallacedene, Blue Downs, Marikana in Phillippi, Bardale, Mfuleni, Witsands, Du Noon and Atlantis, are among areas that are usually severely affected as a result of illegal electricity connections.

Recently Eskom technicians removed illegal connections in Philippi after receiving information that residents from the Siyanyanzela informal settlement had connected themselves to the Eskom network.

Eskom said in Dunoon it is experiencing high volumes of incidents and equipment failure due to illegal connections that are putting pressure on the electricity service provider’s network.

Eskom Cape Coastal Cluster general manager Alwie Lester said: “Eskom endeavours to engage with all the communities affected by the plague of infrastructure theft and vandalism. It cripples the community and leaves them vulnerable to crime.

“We’ve committed ourselves to have open and transparent communication between ourselves and local community leaders when it comes to power outages and slow load shedding restoration.”

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