The family of a 57-year-old woman from Dalton who was electrocuted by loose electricity cables early this week, have appealed to Eskom and uMshwathi Local Municipality to intensify strategic plans in the fight against illegal connections.
Busisiwe Bhengu was electrocuted when she accidentally stepped on live illegal electricity wires when she returned from work.
The mother of seven children died at the scene despite attempts made by residents to save her life.
Her aunt Ngenzeni Ndlovu called on the municipality and Eskom to send a team to remove illegal connections in the area.
“She was renting a room in Dalton after she found a job in town. On her way back she accidentally touched electricity cables that are connected across a pathway leading into her house.
“The cables that are connected illegally must be removed before more people are electrocuted due to illegal connections. In another incident, a child died and a man survived after they were electrocuted recently. We are appealing to the police, Eskom, and the municipality to join forces to eradicate illegal connections.”
Ward councillor Sbongile Mbatha-Ntuli sent her condolences to the Bhengu family and urged informal dwellers to refrain from stealing electricity.
The influx of dwellers at Vumbuka informal settlement come from as far as Tongaat and Durban to erect their shacks in the area.
The land was not earmarked for development.
Mbatha-Ntuli said a public meeting to address the issue of electricity theft was held on November 8.
“The power station where illegal connections are taking place is near an abandoned house. Eskom agreed to remove electricity wires that are connected to the main power. After a team from Eskom completed disconnecting, land grabbers reconnected the cables.
“We are therefore issuing a stern warning to the informal dwellers that the police will be embarking on a door-to-door campaign in the area to inspect if there are any illegal connections in any of the houses. Those who have been found to have tampered with electricity will be prosecuted,” Mbatha-Ntuli said.
Attempts to get comment from Eskom were unsuccessful yesterday.