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.”