Illegal electricity connections leave Joburg clinics in darkness

Illegal electricity connections have caused a blackout in two clinics.
Illegal electricity connections have caused a blackout in two clinics.

Two Johannesburg clinics have been without electricity since Tuesday due to a faulty cable and illegal power connections.

Westbury Clinic was without electricity after the main cable to the facility was tampered with in a suspected criminal act.

"The clinic’s operational manager said he heard a loud bang in the afternoon and also noticed smoke coming from the same area. An unknown man was seen running out of the building and climbing over the recently erected wall‚" the city of Johannesburg said in a statement.

According to the city‚ patients were evacuated as a precaution.

"The generator which serves as a back-up could not be switched on because of the extent of the damage to the main power cable‚" the city added.

Services at the clinic have been temporarily disrupted and vaccines moved to a nearby clinic for storage.

In a separate incident‚ the Protea South clinic in Soweto also experienced a blackout caused by illegal connections.

According to the city‚ community members who live near the clinic use the facility’s power generator to connect electricity to their houses.

"It is concerning that our clinics continue to be targeted by criminals. We cannot afford to have our facilities closed due to vandalism. I implore all communities to help us and work with our area managers to safeguard our facilities‚" said Mpho Phalatse‚ the city's health and social development MMC.

Phalatse said clinics offered vital services to some of the most vulnerable citizens and should be safeguarded at all times by everyone.

Phalatse called on people to expose those who continue to target clinics and other government facilities across the city.

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