File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/ Reuters

SANDTON - A woman, who owes Eskom around half a million rand in upaid electricity bills, "was caught in the act" trying to reconnect her Sandton property illegally to the electricity network, the power utility said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Eskom said they received an anonymous tip-off after the woman's power was disconnected due to the unpaid bills.

The woman was arrested after Eskom's security team caught her doing the illegal connection. She was charged with tampering with essential infrastructure and released on R1,000 bail, the statement said.

The utility's divisional executive for security, Tebogo Rakau, said illegal connections could overload the system and cause unplanned outages.

"Customers who tamper with electricity not only risk electrocution to themselves, but also endanger the lives of innocent citizens and will be prosecuted," said Rakau.

- African News Agency (ANA)