Cape Town – Informal settlement dwellers in Mfuleni near Cape Town have vowed to fight back and reconnect electricity cables cut off by the City of Cape Town.
As reported by eNCA, Mfuleni residents have vowed to reconnect and beat anyone who tries to stop their electricity cables following an operation by the City to disconnect illegal connections.
This follows after mayoral committee member for energy, Beverley van Reenen, said the City was ramping up its efforts to protect critical electricity infrastructure and to remove illegal connections in various areas.
“Safety and security teams continue to be deployed to help guard infrastructure especially during the higher stages of load shedding,” she said.
At the same time Van Reenen insisted that the City won’t back down as it was losing millions annually due to cable theft and lack of maintenance.
She added that the City could not give an estimate of the value of cables retrieved in Mfuleni but those recovered filled three full trucks and some informal settlement residents were stealing power from paying customers.
The residents have further promised to fight back at any City authorities that try to to disconnect electricity, stating that the City does’t have any sympathy because children were writing their final matric exams.
While the operation has been welcomed by affected residents in Mfuleni, others fear that this will result in further tension.
“These illegal connections are causing a lot of damage in our appliances because there are people who just move in our areas and create these connections. As a result when these City authorities leave there will be swearing towards us people who find relief by what the City is doing,” residents said.
Van Reenen pleaded with residents to help the City bring an end to infrastructure vandalism and illegal connections.
“The City is offering a reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest, confiscation of stolen or illegal goods or the handing of illegal or stolen goods.
“This reward is also applicable to information leading to the arrest of people vandalising, damaging or stealing electricity infrastructure or installing illegal connections.
“Residents can give anonymous tip-offs if they are aware of illegal activities such as illegal connections or unlawful occupations that are taking place; that have happened or still to happen.
“Please call 112 from a cellphone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies,” she said.