Gauteng boy, 11, killed after stepping on loose wires from illegal electricity connection

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Illegal electricity connections in Orange Farm, along the Golden Highway in Gauteng.
Illegal electricity connections in Orange Farm, along the Golden Highway in Gauteng.
PHOTO: Twitter/@Eskom_SA
  • A boy died after coming into contact with an illegal electricity connection.
  • According to Eskom, he was declared dead on the scene.
  • The power utility says that it is working with law enforcement to remove illegal connections in the area.

An 11-year-old boy has died after coming into contact with an illegal electricity connection in Tjovitjo informal settlement, Orange Farm.

The incident occurred on Tuesday along the Golden Highway in Orange Farm, Extension 2.

According to Eskom, a group of boys were swimming in a pool of water next to the railway line when one of them made contact with open wires on the ground.

The boy's brother allegedly carried him to the Golden Highway, where the Gauteng Emergency Services (GES) declared him dead on the scene.

READ | City Power warns about illegal electricity connections after 2 children trip on live wire and die

Eskom's Safety, Health, Environment, Risk, and Quality manager in Gauteng, Kith Maitisa, said the power utility was deeply saddened by the loss of life.

"It is most concerning to us that it is often children who fall victim to these unscrupulous acts of criminality, where cables are openly laid along the ground to steal electricity," Maitisa said.

Maitisa reiterated that illegal connections were unsafe, not only to those setting them up, but to others in the same vicinity.

Eskom said it had since disconnected the wires that were illegally connected to the transformer supplying electricity to a neighbouring school, and were working in partnership with law enforcement to remove other illegal connections in the area.

"Communities in areas with illegal connections tend to become hostile towards Eskom when removing these wires. Of further concern to us is that many communities tend to replace the removed illegal connections just a short time after their removal.

"We would like to urge members of the public to refrain from such acts of criminality as they are not only dangerous, but can be fatal," Maitisa said.

News24 reached out to Gauteng police for comment. However, they had not responded at the time of publication.

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