Protest over cutting off of illegal electricity connections in Alexandra turns deadly

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  • City Power and the JMPD have embarked on operations to cut off illegal connections in Alexandra where aluminium and copper cables valued at R27 million were removed. 
  • After City Power left, residents rose up in protest which allegedly resulted in clashes with Alex Mall security. 
  • One person was shot and killed after a guard allegedly fired shots at the protesters. 

One person has been killed and a security guard from Alex Mall taken into custody after he allegedly shot into a crowd of residents who were protesting a City Power operation to cut off illegal electricity connections.

On Tuesday, City Power and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department descended on parts of Alexandra to cut off illegal connections.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the power utility removed  23 tons of aluminium and copper cables valued at R27 million during the operation. 

After it left, residents of Riverpark started protesting.

Police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili said:

It is alleged that a security guard from Alex Mall fired a shot towards the protesters. It was then discovered that one of the protesters, 27, was hit. He was rushed to hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

Muridili added a case of murder had been opened.

The police seized the guard's firearm, which will be taken for ballistic testing.

Meanwhile, Mangena said City Power embarked on the operation after receiving complaints from  residents about frequent outages in the area due to the network being overloaded. 

ALSO READ | Brand new R500 000 mini-substation stolen a day after it's installed outside Roodepoort school

"In Alexandra, there are several hot spots of illegal connection which is the cause of the frequent outages in the township. Illegal connectors have also vandalised streetlights in areas that include London Road and Vasco da Gama.

"In Riverpark alone, City Power has spent about R2.5 million to replace burnt mini-substations and pole-mounted transformers in the past six months alone. It's worth noting that our mini-substations in the area of Riverpark have reached full capacity," he added. 

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