Izinyoka-Nyoka is a way of life - Danger of illegal electric connections lurks where-ever you tread
LIFE ON THE EDGE: A Sowetan Special Report by reporter Sibongile Mashaba and photographer Vathiswa Ruselo
THEY illegally redirect electricity from power lines into their shacks by digging up the roads and installing ordinary cables.
But these people are also digging their graves or, even worse, those of innocent children.
But "desperation" has led them to illegally connect electricity.
The lives of children at Snake Park in Soweto and Thembelihle, near Lenasia, southern Johannesburg, are in danger.
One has to be careful when walking in these areas.
The electricity wires are everywhere. They criss-cross the roads, supplying electricity to several shacks in the area.
Joe Moleme* of Snake Park said one only needed to pay R100 to one of the neighbourhood men to get connected.
"It is that cheap," he said.
"Now I do not have to use a primus stove that makes me very sick."
Though he knew what they were doing was illegal, he said. residents "did not have a choice because they needed the power supply".
"I registered for a house in 1995. To date I have not heard anything," Moleme said.
As the Sowetan team moved around the area we spotted electricity cables in one yard.
We walked in. There were four men in their 30s and 47-year-old Nosipho Rwacaza.
One of the men was quick to ask: "What do you want?"
At the same time, another pulled the cable and threw it over a fence into another yard.
We talked to the old woman.
"Please go stand that side. Not here," said one of the men, pointing to a tree nearby.
Rwacaza was not comfortable and asked that we moved to her house to talk.
She told us "izinyoka-nyoka" was a way of life in the area.
* Not his real name