Swapo residents simply reconnect the power

2011-10-06 00:00

THE efforts by the Msunduzi Municipality electricity department to disconnect illegal connections in the Swapo area in Copesville are proving to be a futile exercise as those who live in the informal settlement simply reconnect them.

This proved to be the case yesterday when a team of electricians, accompanied by police, had to again disconnect the same area that was cut off last week.

Those living in the formal housing unit were not convinced that disconnecting power to the informal homes was the best option.

A woman who asked to remain unnamed said: “Can’t the council just provide them with their own transformers instead of disconnecting them, because we will suffer as they will cut off our lights when they reconnect in the evening.”

She said the solution is that they should be given a service because if they do not get it they will connect their electricity illegally. “They are always going to view us as the enemy every time they are disconnected,” she said.

Mduduzi Hlongwane, a community member, said: “We understand that the municipality is losing a lot of money because of their actions, but what else can they do to get electricity connected because their grievances have fallen on deaf ears.”

He said they understand the danger involved in their actions, but the candles and paraffin are just as dangerous.

“We are prepared to pay for electricity if the council installs it for us,” he added.

Young people in the area complained that they could not watch the Bafana Bafana and Springboks games because of the disconnections.

Anthony Patricks, supervisor at the electricity department in the council, said the illegal connections are done by skilled people, but it is still unsafe for the children in the area.

“I am sure that they are working with a professional electrician to connect illegally,” said Patricks.

He said the disconnections are just a temporary measure; council has to actually install a cable that will feed the informal settlement for a permanent solution.

thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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