In this file picture, illegal connections are removed in Tswane. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)
In this file picture, illegal connections are removed in Tswane. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

Two die after touching and stepping on live wires of illegal connections in Joburg

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Oct 21, 2020

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Johannesburg – The dangers of illegal connections are once again the spotlight after two people, including a 9-year-old girl, died after being electrocuted in two separate incidents in Joburg.

The first incident occurred last week at Kanana informal settlement in Rabie Ridge.

Spokesperson for City Power, Isaac Mangena, said information at their disposal was that the child accidentally touched exposed live wires running past her family’s shack in Extension 4.

She was electrocuted and died at the scene.

The second incident occurred on Wednesday morning.

Mangena said a man was walking in an open veld when he stepped on a web of exposed wires in Davidsonville, Roodepoort..

“There are exposed wires passing through the veld and that this person waked on them. He was electrocuted and also died at the scene,” Mangena said.

The City’s MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Department Mpho Moerane has caution communities in the informal settlements to not connect themselves to electricity illegally as that is dangerous.

She said the place where the child died is one of the many hotspots in the city identified by City Power where the problem of illegal connections persists.

“Illegal connections lead to overloading of the network, leading to frequent outages, as seen this past winter.

“Not only do illegal connections cost the City millions in lost revenue, they are a danger to the residents, especially children.

“City Power will intensify the cut-off of illegal connections across the city, while continuing with an education drive about the dangers of vandalism and illegal connections,” she said.

Moerane said the City was engaging with other departments to ensure that informal settlements receive essential services, including legal electricity.

According to Moerane, the City was also seeing a worrying trend of an increase in vandalism and theft of their infrastructure across the regions.

“Streetlights seem to be the target, with some around Lenasia, and other areas mowed down in what we see as a serious crime against the state.

Moerane also has appealed to law enforcement agencies to assist in ensuring perpetrators are found and brought to book.

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