ILLEGAL electricity wires worth an estimated R5000 were confiscated by Kouga Municipality and the Jeffreys Bay SAPS in a joint operation last week.Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor, Freddy Campher, said the operation had focused on Bantu Holomisa Street at Tokyo Sexwale, where illegal electricity connections were increasingly putting the lives of innocent residents at risk. “Just recently a cow was shocked to death by an illegal wire near Makukhanye Primary. It could as easily have been an innocent child. “The practice of stealing electricity cannot be allowed to continue and we plead with communities not to tolerate such behaviour. It puts everyone’s lives and property at risk,” Campher said.He said a criminal case of malicious damage to essential infrastructure was being investigated, as the culprits responsible for laying the illegal wires had damaged the power box supplying electricity to the area. “The municipality has already had to spend more than R50 000 on repairing the power box. This is money that could have been spent on improving service delivery to the area.”He said the maximum sentence for this offence had recently been increased to 30 years in jail because of the tremendous danger it poses to people’s lives and property, and the conflict it fuels between municipalities and communities.