Illegal connections restored after swoop
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Durban - Municipal electricity workers were met with resistance from residents when they swept through the Welbedacht East area to remove illegal cable connections on Wednesday.
Security men guarding eThekwini Municipality electricity department workers clashed with residents, who tried to stop them by barricading the road with rocks and refuse.
Residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said they were given council houses with no electricity and water.
They had been living in the houses for two years.
A resident, who only gave his name as Narainsamy, said clothes needed to be ironed and they had no place to keep their perishable food.
“Indirectly, they are asking us to connect our wires to the street poles to get lights. We are willing to pay for the services. We are being ignored. Children have to attend school and we have to have a fridge for our food,” he said.
Residents said the department arrived and cut connections leading from the light poles to the houses.
Homeowners then became angry when their cords and cables were confiscated to prevent them reconnecting the power.
However, some who heard about the swoop, took their cables out, only to reconnect them when the municipal workers left.
Several homeowners also hired people to reconnect the wires.
One man charged R50 for the use of his ladder and R60 to make the connection onto the light pole electrical wires.
Dharamraj Ramgopal, 55, said he was left in the dark and did not know what to do.
Many old people were suffering because they did not have electricity, he said.
An e-mail was sent to the municipality about the issue, but no reply was received by deadline.