‘Illegal connections and old infrastructure cost us millions ’

An electrician fixes a damaged transformer at Golden Acres. photo: supplied
An electrician fixes a damaged transformer at Golden Acres. photo: supplied

THE theft of electricity and power cables has put further financial strain on municipalities and residents alike.

Millions of rands are being used to repair damaged electrical infrastructure. This damage is often caused by illegal connections.

According to uMvoti Municipality, illegal connections cost them more than R1 million a year to repair. Added to this pressure are repairs that need to be done to ageing infrastructure.

In a recent incident, a transformer blew up at the Golden Acres area in Greytown last week, causing power outages in that area. The old infrastructure was cited to be the main cause of the incident.

uMvoti Municipality spokesperson Phindile Phungula said the power was restored to the area within three hours: “The recent incident which saw a transformer blow up, directly causing a power outage, was caused by aging infrastructure. The transformer was speedily replaced.

“On average, between R1.4 million and R2 million per [year] is spent to repair or deal with such incidents. But illegal connections put further financial strain on the municipality as it results in an additional 10% electricity loss.”

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