Residents want electricity now

 The family of the late Danile Suka (inset) who died after being electrocuted in the Los Angeles vlei on Friday night.  PHOTOs: voox sonandzi
The family of the late Danile Suka (inset) who died after being electrocuted in the Los Angeles vlei on Friday night. PHOTOs: voox sonandzi

Residents of Los Angeles squatter camp near Driftsands are demanding proper electricity in the area.

This comes after Danile Suka (41) was electrocuted while trying to fix an illegal connection in the settlement near Driftsands, Cape Town, on Friday.

The father of three was the third person to be electrocuted in the area in the past three years.

Residents have made illegal connections to Driftsands and pay around R200 a month for electricity. Danile’s brother-in-law, Thobela Mekana (40) said the family was very sad about his death.

“We still can’t believe it. He went out to fix the electricity when it went out but he never came back. It happened at about 7pm,” he said.

“His wife came to my house after he failed to return from fixing the connection. We went to look for him but couldn’t find him.

“We called the police on Friday evening but they told us they couldn’t come because it was dark. The next day, Danile’s body was found on the wetland still holding an electric cable.

“He was a very good person who didn’t even drink. We miss him and his kindness.”

Community leader Stanford Dasheka said: “The lack of electricity in the area led to this tragedy.

Every year, someone gets electrocuted. It’s too much now and something needs to be done. We have been waiting for electricity for 18 years and nothing has happened.

“We demand electricity to make sure incidents like this stop happening.”

Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said: “A male was found dead in an open field in Driftsands on Saturday morning by a member of the community.

He was lying in a pool of water with live electrical wires around him. It is believed that the man was electrocuted.

An inquest docket has been opened for investigation.”

Alderman JP Smith, the City of Cape Town’s Acting Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements said the city was making every effort to improve the lives of people living in Los Angeles informal settlement.

He said recently the City spent approximately R4 million on flood mitigation measures in Los Angeles informal settlement, which included the construction of raised gravel platforms in this settlement.

“This has enabled residents to rebuild their informal structures away from the flood-prone, low-lying areas. Stormwater earth drains were also constructed, while local access roads were raised and shaped to reduce the flooding of roadways.

The existing toilets and water standpipes were also repaired,” he said.

He added that as part of the process to upgrade of the informal settlement, the City entered discussions with Eskom to electrify Los Angeles.

Dasheka said he welcomed the city’s attempt but he called for “more urgency”

“People are dying here,” said Dasheka.

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