Illegal sourcing of power plagues family

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ST Metro Watch Bertrams 254 INLSA POWERLESS: Chantal Sinequan, who owns the house on the left, in Bertrams, is fed up with the illegal electricity connection made by the squatters she says are living in the house on the right. Pictures: Moeletsi Mabe

A BERTRAMS family is experiencing regular power cuts – some up to a week long – because of illegal electricity connections being made by their next-door neighbour.

Chantal Sinequan said she often had to go without power for days on end because of the illegal power connections burning out the electricity box outside her house.

Although City Power has been out a number of times, and removed the illegal wires, she says the culprits simply reconnect the electricity.

“We… have reported the illegal connections at the box in the street for a number of months now.

“This action is happening over and over, and mainly during the winter.

“The box and wires burn out all the time. We recently went for a whole week without power,” she said.

ST Metro Watch Bertrams 193 Current situation: Chantal Sinequan points to the wires used to illegally tap power into this Bertrams house next to hers. INLSA

Sinequan said she was simply asked to report these incidents, which she had been doing anyway.

She said this was now becoming annoying as City Power did little to help secure the box properly.

The cables were starting to burn and flames were coming from the box, she said.

“This is now becoming a dangerous situation. I phoned the 011 375 5555 number to report this and complained that these illegal connections were becoming a fire risk.

“Instead of helping, the lady who answered accused me of making the illegal connection,” she said.

Following a request from Metrowatch, City Power sent out technicians this week and Sinequan said her power had been restored.

“My electricity is working again. It was confirmed by City Power staff that there are illegal connections which caused the power outage.

“The house has been abandoned and is occupied by squatters who would not open the door.

“All the wires have now been disconnected and City Power has promised to come and secure the box so that it cannot be tampered with again,” she said.

Sinequan said she was now concerned because her electricity bill had been very high in recent months, which, she suspected, was because of the illegal usage of her power by the large number of squatters in the neighbouring house.

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