Durban - Another child has been electrocuted by exposed electrical cables believed to have been left by thieves in Copesville in Pietermaritzburg.

Netcare 911 spokeswoman Santi Steinmann said that the eight-year-old boy was already dead when paramedics arrived on Sunday.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said the identity of the boy was still unknown.

The theft of cables and installation of illegal electricity connections, near informal settlements, were a major challenge for the Msunduzi Municipality.

A project was under way to electrify all informal settlements to ease the problem.

In January, 14-year-old Thabani Zondo was electrocuted in Copesville.

He had been playing soccer with friends when he went to fetch the ball, which had rolled into a stream. When he stepped into the water, he was killed by live electrical cables that crisscrossed the stream.

In July last year, 6-year-old Aviwe Vava of the Eastern Cape was visiting her parents at the Jika Joe settlement in Pietermaritzburg when she slipped and was electrocuted as she grabbed a live wire in an attempt to break her fall.

In September, Moshe Motoung, 36, was electrocuted in the same settlement.

Lucky Mzila was found dead in a ditch in Regina Road, Northdale, in September. His body was lying on top of illegal cables that snaked to a nearby informal settlement.

Last year, Esther Mungal, 67, survived being shocked by an illegal electrical connection running through her yard in Copesville.

The Mercury