17 October 2018
City Power is roping in the help of
the police to try stop incidents of sabotage and vandalism of City Power
infrastructure in key hot spot areas across the City.
In a recent incident in Unaville
informal settlement, Lenasia South, City Power electricity poles were mowed
down by criminals.
It is not clear why this was done
but it is suspected that it was done in anger as a retaliation after City Power
cut off illegal connections that have been disrupting electricity supply to
paying customers, including the Grasmere Toll Gate nearby.
City Power has opened a case of
damage to essential infrastructure in terms of the Criminal Amendment Act
(CMAA), with the police, and we have also increased our plain-clothed security
visibility in the area. If found guilty, the CMAA imposes a maximum sentence of
There is also a suspicion of theft
of Transformers in the same area and we suspect the Transformer Poles could have
been brought down for that purpose. In the past 8 months City Power has
replaced about seven (7) pole-mounted transformers in the same area, with all
costing about R1.5 million to replace.
"We are also working with law
enforcement agencies to ensure those responsible for this which is really a
crime against the state, are apprehended. We should not allow lawlessness and
any efforts to interrupt supply of electricity to the majority of our people
should be thwarted and rejected," City Power CEO Lerato Setshedi
It has been months already since
the new informal settlement started on a farm in the area. The informal
settlement has no formal electricity supply to its residents. As such residents
have decided to connect to the old line supplying nearby farms.
The illegal cables have been
dangerously connected to the low voltage circuit. Some of the wires have even
been connected directly on to the medium voltage lines. The poor nature of
these connections and the resultant overloading of the circuit result in
nuisance trips and premature failures of pole transformers. Most of the current
transformers supplying the area are new as the old ones had failed prematurely
due to illegal connections. Restoring power to the area has proved to be a
futile exercise because as soon as it is back on, it trips again on overload.
City Power teams that are
dispatched to restore power to the area must first cut off these dangerous
wires but are prevented from doing so by informal settlement dwellers.
Removal of illegal connections is
also not a lasting solution as they are reconnected as soon the teams leave
For media queries please contact
Isaac Mangena – City Power Spokesperson on