Vandalism of substations and other electricity infrastructure, including damage done by illegal connections, have risen sharply in Imizamo Yethu, says mayoral committee member for energy Beverley van Reenen.
It’s part of a citywide problem, and it costs almost R27 million a year to fix damage to municipal electricity infrastructure across the metro, she says.
“There has been a spike in vandalism of the City of Cape Town’s electricity infrastructure in recent months,” she said, adding that law-abiding customers were suffering power failures as a result.
“These illegal actions directly impact service delivery to residents, and help is needed from residents across Cape Town to stop the scourge. We condemn this criminality and call on residents to assist with ending this scourge.”
Imizamo Yethu community leader Kenny Tokwe said residents knew what was happening, but no one was prepared to lodge a formal complaint about the illegal connections.
A resident, Edward Mkhule, said: “Although it is illegal, they know it is helping a family or keeping a light on for a child that is studying. We know it’s not okay, but you can see why.”
But he added that the illegal connections could have devastating consequences.