Two people die due to illegal electricity connections in Johannesburg

A nine-year-old child died last week after being electrocuted in the Kanana informal settlement in Rabie Ridge.
A nine-year-old child died last week after being electrocuted in the Kanana informal settlement in Rabie Ridge.
Image: 123RF:Stock Image/ Wang Tom

Two people have died in a space of less than two weeks due to illegal electricity connections in Johannesburg.

A nine-year-old child died last week after being electrocuted in the Kanana informal settlement in Rabie Ridge after touching exposed cables running past the family shack in Ext 4, which were used to connect electricity illegally, the City of Joburg Municipality said in a statement.

Another person also died after being electrocuted yesterday after going through a web of exposed wires in an open veld in Davidsonville, Roodepoort, the municipality statemnet read.

Spokesperson of the MMC of environment and infrastructure services in the municipality, Stan Itshegetseng, said the Joburg municipality is on a mission to remove all illegal connections in the city by intensifying their cut-off of such connections and going on an education drive to inform the public about the dangers of illegal connections.

Itshegetseng said illegal connections are a danger to residents, especially children.

Itshegetseng said the municipality is currently on an ongoing, continuous program to remove all illegal connections which they have to deal with on a weekly basis.

“We are continuing with removing illegal connections. Our fight is not just against illegal connections but also for the safety of our people and we say these when we go to these informal settlements. We removed an illegal connection in Bagomane Primary School, in Diepkloof, and after that my life was threatened and I was threatened to be shot at. Even though there is a little bit of resistance we are continuing with the program of the city.”

Itshegetseng said the municipality is on an education drive called ‘Cleaner Joburg’ that educates the people of Johannesburg about the dangers of illegal connections through sharing video clips of the MMC talking to the people, street billboards, departments dedicated to going to communities, churches and youth clubs identified to talk about the dangers of illegal connections and how a plan can be created to alleviate this problem.

Itshegetseng made mention of communities that have illegal connections and said in some instances the residents of those communities will bring to the attention of the municipality the illegal connections hey have and call on the municipality to help them get legal electricity connection. He said the municipality works very well with such communities in reducing the number of illegal connections.

Itshegetseng emphasised that the municipality wants to do-away with illegal connections in all areas of the city.

“This program is not a once-off program that is targeting informal settlements. It is wrong for us to have a perception that we are targeting informal settlements. We have removed illegal connections in Dainfern as well. We are dealing with illegal connections in totality everywhere we find it.”

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