A 17-year-old teenager died in Philippi‚ Cape Town‚ on Monday after he was electrocuted while trying to install an illegal electricity connection.
The teenager climbed onto poles that hold up a transformer and while trying to switch on the electricity supply‚ he was electrocuted.
This was according to his friend who was also on the scene at Jim se Bos informal settlement.
The young man was declared dead by medics. An inquest docket has been opened.
“This is one of the tragic consequences of illegal electricity connections. We urge members of the public to always steer clear of electricity infrastructure and not to be engaged in the installation of illegal connections because of the associated dangers‚” the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services‚ Ernest Sonnenberg‚ said.
Sonnenberg added that Philippi Farms was a hot spot for illegal connections. While the city has made numerous attempts to remove the illegal and unsafe electricity connections‚ members of the public reinstated the connections after the officials moved off site.
“Sadly‚ this incident underscores the on-going challenges we face in this and other areas‚” he said.
Jim se Bos and the Egoli informal settlement are both situated on private land in the Schaapkraal area and therefore cannot be electrified.
As a result‚ the community has resorted to connecting their structures illegally to the grid and vandalising distribution infrastructure in the area.
“This is also affecting power supply to neighbouring communities on a regular basis‚” said the city in a statement.
In 2013‚ a 12-year-old boy was electrocuted in the same area after falling on an illegal electricity connection.
A criminal case was opened against the owner of the dwelling‚ but the case was dismissed.