17 Oct 2018

17 October 2018

Time: 09h00

Media Alert

Region G

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 30 years.

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 said. 

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 site.


For media queries please contact

Isaac Mangena – City Power Spokesperson on 0718848273

@Ice_izo @CityPowerJHB