Illegally connected power cables, mostly running underground at Dukathole Informal Settlement in Germiston, were removed in the early-hours, multi-disciplinary operation led by the City's Energy Department and Ekurhuleni Metro Police this morning, 21 August. The operation was to restore fully functional electrical network in the area and surroundings, after four transformers exploded recently due to heavy load caused by the illegal connections.
The operation was part of the City's plans to ensure that all illegal connections have been uprooted before the technicians commence with upgrading the damaged infrastructure. The illegal connections are the main cause of overloaded electricity supply grid which results in persistent power supply interruptions experienced in the area. Electrical infrastructure components such as transformers, switchgear and cables have also been destroyed. Meters for the illegal connections were also discovered.
"Plans are underway to install new transformers and other damaged electrical equipment to stabilise the supply of electricity.
However, in order to do so we need to work on a network that has not been tempered with through illegal connections, hence we started with the disconnection operation," MMC for Water, Sanitation and Energy Cllr Tiisetso Nketle said.
Ekurhuleni loses close to R800 million a year in unaccounted electricity caused by illegal power connections across the City.
Residents are encouraged to report any illegal connection or suspicion of illegal connection activities through the municipal call centre on 086 054 3000.