Protests erupt in Reservoir Hills after city cuts illegal power at informal settlement
Durban - Residents of the Quarry Road informal settlement in Clare Estate barricaded roads with debris after illegal electricity connections were removed by the city yesterday.
Reservoir Hills Ratepayers' Association chairperson Ish Prahladh said there were reports of passing vehicles being stoned during the protest.
He said the city had swooped in and removed hundreds of wires traversing the roadway from nearby electricity substations on O’Flaherty and Spencer roads.
Sagar Singh, PR councillor for Clare Estate, said formal residents often had no electricity due to the illegal connections.
“Some residents in the informal settlement don't have prepaid meters, and this causes a problem. The municipality needs to address the concerns of the informal community in terms of the constitution and ensure access to basic services,” he said.
Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the electrification of informal settlements is one of the city's permanent projects. Formal homes bordering informal settlements experience inconvenient disruptions due to the overloading of networks, he said.
“Illegal connections burden the system, which leads to constant power trips and damaged infrastructure.
"Illegally connected electricity remains a noose around the city's neck, and the city, with the assistance of the SAPS, continues to fight it. We are still conducting multidisciplinary blitzes, where we disconnect illegal connections,” Mayisela said.