An 11-year-old boy has died after he came into contact with live wires in Orange Farm, Gauteng. File Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency/ANA
An 11-year-old boy has died after he came into contact with live wires in Orange Farm, Gauteng. File Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency/ANA

Orange Farm boy, 11, killed after making contact with illegal power cables

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Nov 17, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - An 11-year-old boy died after he came into contact with an illegal electricity connection in the Tjovitjo informal Settlement in Orange Farm.

The incident, which occurred on Tuesday, is being probed by Eskom and members of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

According to a statement released by the power utility, the incident occurred along the Golden Highway in Extension 2, where a group of boys were allegedly swimming in a pool of water right next to a railway line.

One of the children made contact with open wires on the ground.

The victim’s brother managed to carry his body to the Golden Highway where Gauteng emergency services declared the boy dead on the scene.

Eskom SHEQS Manager in Gauteng, Kith Maitisa, conveyed their condolences to the family of the deceased child, and said it was “most concerning” that it is often children who fall victim to “these unscrupulous acts of criminality” where cables are openly laid along the ground to steal electricity.

“Illegal connections are totally unsafe as they do not only risk injury to those conducting them, but also to others in the same vicinity.

“We have disconnected the wires that were illegally connected to the transformer supplying electricity to a neighbouring school, and we are working in partnership with the SAPS and other law-enforcement agencies to remove these illegal connections in the area. “Communities in areas with illegal connections tend to become hostile towards Eskom when removing these wires.

“Of further concern to us is that many communities tend to replace the removed illegal connections just a short time after their removal.

“We would like to urge members of the public to refrain from such acts of criminality as they are not only dangerous, but can be fatal,” Maitisa said.

Eskom has urged the public to report those conducting illegal electricity-related activities to the Eskom Crime Line on 0800 11 27 22.

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