Illegal connections at Manor, an ongoing problem

2015-08-13 06:00
PHOTO:Ian Carbutt

Police watch municipal workers clear meters of electrical cable that was running from the Manor Flats transformer box to the nearby informal settlement.

PHOTO:Ian Carbutt Police watch municipal workers clear meters of electrical cable that was running from the Manor Flats transformer box to the nearby informal settlement.

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A HIGH police and municipal presence descended on Waterbok Flats in Manor early yesterday after reports from residents regarding illegal electricity connections were received.

Derrick Biggar, residents at the flats and treasurer of the Willow Gardens Residents’ Association, said the removal of illegal connections occurs weekly, sometimes even two to three times a week.

“They [municipal employees] are here a few times a week. We are constantly reporting the issue to the municipality but they tell us that they cannot enter the premises unless the police are here.

“They [residents from the Jika Joe informal settlement] connect the electricity from our transformer at the flats so we are forever having issues with the lights,” said Biggar.

Residents said that there have been numerous electrocutions in the field that is at the back of Waterbok flats. The field has no fencing and is easily accessible to the residents and children at the flats who play in the vicinity.

“Sometimes their balls roll down the bank and they go to fetch them. This is so dangerous. That’s how my grandson was electrocuted. His ball rolled behind the garages and when he went to fetch it he got shocked,” said Biggar.

According to some of the residents, about 29 people have been electrocuted in the area over the last two years.

The issue of illegal connections is ongoing in this area and because the flats boarded the informal settlement, the issue persists.

One of the residents described the connection as “firecrackers going off” when the people try to steal the electricity, especially in the rain.

“There is no stopping them, in an hour you will come back and they have reconnected everything,” said Biggar

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