Power theft rife in Mkholombe

2016-12-01 06:00
 Photo: vusi mthalane Illegally connected cables in open view on the road in Mkholombe, endangering people and animals.

Photo: vusi mthalane Illegally connected cables in open view on the road in Mkholombe, endangering people and animals.

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FOR years a resident living near Mkholombe says she and others have been experiencing frequent power cuts due to cable theft.

The woman, who lives in a RDP house in Mkholombe, says she and 50 others are affected.

“We have not had electricity for over a week because people from the shacks connect to our electrical lines to steal power.

“I have lost count the number of times this has happened. We have to suffer and live in fear. We can’t cook, bath, watch television or store our food in the fridge or freezer.”

The woman has been living in a RDP house for 10 years and has heard numerous promises from Eskom, ward councillors and the municipality about plans they had to stop cable theft.

“Nothing has been done. No action has been taken. Reporting the crime is not enough. There has to be something else Eskom can do to stop electricity theft as they are aware of this situation.” Eskom media desk says technicians were working on the problem on Tuesday afternoon.

“Our colleagues are busy with a normalisation project at Mkholombe, where illegal customers will be supplied with formal and legal electricity. There is currently a contractor on site installing the infrastructure. Ray Nkonyeni Municipality is also on board. The project to electrify the area seems to be the only solution to solve the area’s electricity theft problem.”

Ajith Rajaram, Ward 17 councillor, said he has contacted Eskom several times with regard to finding a solution to stop power theft.

“I asked an Eskom official to meet me on site about two months ago and I am still waiting for the official to confirm a appointment,” said Rajaram­.

He says cable theft had always been a serious issue in the Mkholombe area.

“There are cables running everywhere throughout Mkholombe. It is very dangerous,” he says.

He said it is disappointing that others must suffer due the illegal activities.

“Some are left without electricity due to the tampering and paying customers have to bear the brunt as Eskom will have to recover the money from somewhere to reinstate the power supply, and replace those cables,” he says.

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