Johannesburg -

The electricity situation in Centurion came to a tragic end on Friday when a man was electrocuted while trying to switch the power back on at his home.

The man, from Raslouw, had not had electricity since Thursday morning and yesterday decided to switch the power on.

DA councillor Ina Strydom said: “His house was the only one that was affected. In the early hours of the morning he decided to climb a ladder and switch on the electricity instead of waiting for the City of Tshwane personnel.”

The man was electrocuted by 11 000kV of electricity. Strydom warned residents that trying to switch on electricity was not only dangerous, but illegal.

“We understand that not having electricity is frustrating but people need to be patient. It is not worth taking that risk because you are not a professional and the cables are dangerous.”

Residents in Centurion had been without electricity since Sunday after cable thieves vandalised the Brakfontein and Kentron substations. Power has been restored to many parts of the area.

City mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa earlier this week said measures would be put in place to stop vandalism and cable theft.

Last year, the city spent R30 million dealing with the crime. This year the city has already spent R20m and it will cost a further R8m to fix the two Centurion substations.

It had put in place CCTV cameras, employee biometrics and a whistleblower reward system to deal with the issue.

City of Tshwane spokesman Lindela Mashigo confirmed the incident and warned: “During the outages people must treat all electric wires as live.

“They should also not fiddle with the electric boxes or cables.”

He said the city was working around the clock to restore electricity in affected areas and asked residents to be patient.

Residents are urged to report any incidents relating to cable theft to the metro police on 012 358 9999.

- Pretoria News Weekend