BOIKHUTSONG informal settlement residents blocked roads with rocks, branches and street light poles demanding that they be allowed to use illegally connected electricity. Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
IN A bizarre move, residents of Boikhutsong informal settlement in Mabopane yesterday took to the streets demanding that the City of Tshwane allow them to use illegally connected electricity.

The residents vowed they would not allow the City to disconnect the electricity - unless provided with legal electricity.

The community settled in the area and built shacks on the edge of a mountain near Morula View in 2013. They claimed they had been submitting memorandums to the City demanding water and electricity all these years.

However, MMC for Utility Services Darryl Moss urged the community to wait a little longer for the services they wanted.

According to Moss, a water supply project in the area was completed just last week. He said that he in fact received notice on Monday that the project was completed and all that was left was for technicians to conduct pressure tests.

Moss said these kind of projects involved more than just the physical work of putting water pipes underground.

He said it could be just be a matter of days before they started receiving running water in the taps.

“When it comes to electricity, on behalf of the City, I have been having extensive meetings with Eskom with the objective to get all the areas on northern Region 1 electrified.

“It’s not just this particular informal settlement, but there are numerous others in and around Mabopane.”

Ward councillor Tshepo Motaung said: “I had a meeting with Eskom on this matter, and they are willing to help.

“The City will have to inform Eskom how many of these properties must be connected. I am going to inform the community about all developments so that they know about what is the progress where their service delivery is concerned.”

But community leader George Mlojwa said the City was not taking them seriously. “The metro has been giving us a lot of empty promises. We’ve submitted countless memorandums and visited many offices, including that of municipal manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola.

“Right now we are saying enough is enough. We want them to know that we have been living here for many years without services.

“Some of the people here started living in the informal settlement in 1994, but all we have are water pipes without pressure.”

Officers from the SAPS and Tshwane Metro Police Department were there to keep an eye on the protesters for most of the day. The presence of the officers kept the situation under control.

The residents vowed to intensify the protest pending the outcome of a meeting scheduled for last night, which they hoped would eventually bring answers to their dilemma.