No sooner are illegal wires removed than they are back

2013-09-09 00:00

ONLY hours after the Msunduzi Municipality disconnected illegal electricity connections in the Slovo informal settlement this weekend, residents in Copesville reported that the illegal connections were being re-connected.

Izinyoka (electricity thieves) had dug a trench across New Greytown Road, cutting through the tar on the road, in order to bury their illegal cables underground. The men were seen connecting their cables in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon.

A frustrated resident who did not want to be named said he was talking to his neighbour when they heard the sparking noises and the bangs of mini-explosions as the thieves connected their wires to the main electricity network.

They usually connect unprotected wires (without any rubber or insulation) to the copper wires inside light posts or to electrical sub-stations.

The resident told The Witness: “I saw what they were doing and I phoned the Mountain Rise police and they did not even pick up the phone. I also called the flying squad and they said they would come, but they never pitched up.”

The resident has repeatedly informed the municipality about the illegal connections and he claims the municipality does not react.

“It is extremely dangerous for these wires to be left exposed like this as anyone can touch them and get electrocuted.

“The last time the municipality came, they undid the connections and left the bale of wire on the ground. They marked the area as a danger zone — but that does not help. Within hours the connections were back.”

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma was not available for comment yesterday.

Police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge said that izinyoka would be arrested if they were caught in the act of making illegal electricity connections.

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