The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is shocked to learn that only one case has been opened with regards to illegal electricity connections in Katlehong, Thokoza and Vosloorus (Kathorus) since the 2016/17 financial year to date.
This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).
According to MEC Mazibuko, only one case has been opened in relation to illegal electricity connections with the main charge of tampering with, damaging and destroying essential infrastructure in Thokoza on 17 September 2020.
This case resulted in one arrest, yet it was provisionally withdrawn in court pending additional evidence which needed to be submitted. The court case was due for the 21 October 2020.
It is worrying that there are numerous illegal connections in Katlehong, Thokoza and Vosloorus yet only one case has been opened since the 2016/2017 financial year to date.
These areas consist of a number of informal settlements and old townships that are connecting electricity illegally which has resulted in our current electricity crisis.
The fact that only one arrest has been made with regards to illegal electricity connections in these areas in four years clearly indicates that the police and Eskom are failing to curb illegal electricity connections in these areas.
Kathorus residents have been experiencing power outages which have left thousands of residents without electricity.
The DA believes that it is the responsibility of the Eskom to ensure the stoppage of illegal electricity connections with the help of the police in arresting the perpetrators and gathering adequate evidence to ensure that the case results in prosecutions.
The illegal electricity connections pose a great risk as it overloads the system which often causes power connections to trip or fail and are hazardous and can cause electrocution.
We call on MEC Mazibuko to ensure that the police stop illegal electricity connections in Katlehong, Thokoza and Vosloorus by arresting the perpetrators and ensuring that there is enough evidence for prosecution. We also urge the residents to report illegal electricity connections.