Eskom calls on communities to help end illegal power connections

A woman was fatally injured when she stepped on an open electrical cable that had been connected illegally in Grabouw.

A lamp post used as a bridge for illegal electricity connections in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Eskom says it needs help from communities to stop illegal power connections.

This comes after AfriForum laid a complaint of culpable homicide against Eskom’s acting CEO at the Grabouw police station following two incidents in the community.

A woman was fatally injured when she stepped on an open electrical cable that had been connected illegally.

During a separate incident, a customer reported that a child had been shocked by a low-hanging illegal wire. The injured child was playing near the fence, made contact with it and was subsequently electrocuted.

Eskom says she was taken to hospital for observations and was discharged the same day.

AfriForum says it wants Eskom to take responsibility.

The utility's Khulu Phasiwe says, “We do remove illegal connections, but our biggest problem is they're put up again as soon as we leave an area."

In a statement, Eskom has said it was saddened by the incidents.

"The illegal connections in Rooidakke has been removed and we trust the community will heed to calls and not reconnect the illegal connections. The area is part of our electrification plan and we are currently busy in the area making progress on formally electrifying parts of the area."

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that that two people had died in separate incidents. One person died in Grabouw, while a child was hospitalised and discharged on the same day, during a separate incident.