City Power concerned about vandalism in Lenasia South

2018-10-17 15:54
An electricity sub-station is photographed. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

An electricity sub-station is photographed. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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City Power says it is working with law enforcement to address incidents of sabotage and vandalism of its infrastructure across Johannesburg.

"We are working with law enforcement agencies to ensure those responsible for this, which is really a crime against the state, are apprehended. We should not allow lawlessness, and any efforts to interrupt the supply of electricity to the majority of our people should be thwarted and rejected," City Power CEO Lerato Setshedi said in a statement on Wednesday.

READ: Zandspruit protest over illegal connections, electrocutions enters 2nd day

This comes after the latest incident in the Unaville informal settlement in Lenasia South, where City Power electricity poles were knocked down.

"City Power has opened a case of damage to essential infrastructure, in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act (CMAA), with the police, and we have also increased our plain-clothed security visibility in the area. If found guilty, the CMAA imposes a maximum sentence of 30 years," City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said.


City Power suspects that this incident may have been done in retaliation for the service provider cutting off illegal connections that had been disrupting power supply to paying customers.

READ: War on illegal connections

"The illegal cables have been dangerously connected to the low voltage circuit. Some of the wires have even been connected directly on to the medium voltage lines. The poor nature of these connections, and the resultant overloading of the circuit, result in nuisance trips and premature failures of pole transformers," Mangena said.

"Most of the current transformers supplying the area are new, as the old ones had failed prematurely due to illegal connections. Restoring power to the area has proved to be a futile exercise because, as soon as it is back on, it trips again on overload."

City Power noted that, although they dispatched a team to remove illegal connections, this was not a lasting solution, as the illegal connections were reconnected as soon as the team left the site.

"City Power teams that are dispatched to restore power to the area must first cut off these dangerous wires, but are prevented from doing so by informal settlement dwellers," Mangena said.

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