Cape Town residents target City officials after clampdown on illegal electricity connections

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File image: City of Cape Town clamps down on illegal connections (PHOTO: Kerushun Pillay)
File image: City of Cape Town clamps down on illegal connections (PHOTO: Kerushun Pillay)
  • Angry residents of the Pacific informal settlement in Mitchells Plain held protests and stoned several vehicles after the City of Cape Town clamped down on illegal electricity connections. 
  • Residents also burnt tyres and debris in the road. 
  • Mayoral Committee Member for Energy Beverley van Reenen said the City had intensified disconnection operations across the Cape metro.

Protests broke out in Pacific informal settlement in Mitchells Plain after the City of Cape Town intensified its operation to clampdown on illegal electricity connections. 

Angry residents took to the streets on Tuesday after the City disconnected illegal power connections in the area.

Residents resorted to burning tyres and debris in Jakes Gerwel Road and pelted passing vehicles with stones.

Confirming the incident, City Law Enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said the dispute involved illegal electricity connections in Mitchells Plain. 

He said:

Petrol bombs and stones were thrown at officers, but it was quickly brought under control. There were no injuries or damage to property or persons. The situation was very tense, and the crowd wanted the local councillor to address them.

Over the last few months, the City has embarked on an operation to disconnect illegal connections in several areas.  

Mayoral Committee Member for Energy Beverley van Reenen said, in line with its zero-tolerance approach to illegal electricity connections, the City had intensified disconnection operations across the metro.

"So far this year, we have carried out several successful operations, and we have confiscated truckloads of cables, which in some cases, were stolen from the City and Eskom," she said. 

READ | City of Tshwane staff held hostage by residents, forced to cut power to neighbouring suburb

Van Reenen added that Philippi, Mitchells Plain, and the surrounding areas had been hit hard due to electricity vandalism, and that this often caused prolonged electricity outages in these areas.

"The City wishes to be clear; we will not allow these acts of criminality to have an impact on the supply to residents. Our work will continue, and the City is monitoring all areas across the metro. Residents may report illegal connections and vandalism to the City and the SAPS," she said. 

In February, the City said illegal electricity connections and vandalism had cost it R2.5 million.

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