Hot-wiring: residents pay syndicates R3?000

2012-09-13 00:00

RESIDENTS of informal settlements in Pietermaritzburg are paying up to R3 000 to criminal syndicates for illegal electricity connections, Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi has said.

He told a Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business meeting on Tuesday: “From our own intelligence gathering we know that there are qualified electrical engineers at play and this is the work of syndicates.”

He said municipal staff disconnected the illegal wiring in the morning and by the afternoon it was reconnected. A staff member was badly shocked and ended up in hospital because he was removing an illegal connection when a syndicate electrician was hot-wiring the same cable in another street at the same time.

Nkosi said that when the syndicates were thwarted and their illegal connections were removed, they became vengeful and chopped down the electricity poles.

The municipality was attacking the problem on two fronts: investigating the syndicates and electrifying the informal settlements, he said. The first informal settlement to be electrified would be Ezinketheni near Copesville.

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