Pretoria - The City of Tshwane will soon launch a campaign to fight against the scourge of illegal power connections, also focusing on raising awareness and enforcement of relevant laws.
This was announced by member of the mayoral committee for utilities, Themba Fosi, after his visit yesterday to Soshanguve Block X, where he went to address the escalating incidents of illegal connections that have been troubling residents for a long time.
The recurring problem was escalated to Fosi by local councillor Bongani Masina, who wanted him to see first-hand the type of lawlessness that has gripped the community.
During his visit he bore witness to the pressing issue of illegal electricity connections infrastructure that had been tampered with, and the associated problems of theft and vandalism.
Fosi said: “The City of Tshwane strongly condemns these illegal connections and the associated activities, as they not only pose serious safety risks but also undermine the integrity of our electrical infrastructure.
“We understand the frustration of residents in areas without adequate electricity supply, but we must emphasise that resorting to illegal connections is not the solution. It endangers lives, disrupts services, and diverts resources that could be better used to improve the overall infrastructure.”
To combat the problem, he said, the municipality will soon launch an “illegal electricity connections campaign”.
“This campaign will focus on raising awareness, enforcement of relevant laws, and working closely with communities to find safer and legal solutions to their electricity needs. We are committed to collaborating with all stakeholders, including residents, community leaders and law enforcement agencies to curb this illegal activity,” he said.
While he acknowledged that there were still areas in the city where access to electricity remained inadequate, he said work was ongoing “to ensure the equitable provision of electricity to all our citizens”.
“Our commitment to improving the living conditions of our residents, including access to essential services, remains unwavering. We call upon the community of Block X, Soshanguve, and all residents of the City of Tshwane to support us in our efforts to address this issue.
“Your safety and well-being are our top priorities, and together we can create a safer and more sustainable future for all,”he said.
Meanwhile, City spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the municipality was working tirelessly to restore power to customers who are supplied from the Pyramid substation, particularly the farming communities.
“Some of the areas have been without electricity for more than a week following a fire that gutted the temporary Pyramid substation on Wednesday, September 20, 2023.
“So far, testing on the 11KV equipment and the transformer has been successfully completed. Teams are busy preparing and connecting cables for supply to the affected customers. The expected time of restoration is this Friday,” he said.