Eskom cracks down on illegal connections

The power utility has joined forces with authorities following growing pressure around deaths reportedly caused by illegal connections.

FILE: Illegal electricity connections. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom says it is working with police to crack down on those behind illegal connections, especially in informal settlements.

The parastatal says it is also cooperating with police in their investigations into the death of a woman in Rooidakke, an informal settlement in Grabouw in January.

The woman had been electrocuted after she reportedly stepped onto an open electrical cable that had been illegally connected.

In a separate incident, in the same area, a 14-year-old girl was injured a few days before the woman's death after being shocked by a low hanging illegal wire.

On Thursday, AfriForum laid a complaint of culpable homicide against Eskom's acting Chief Executive Officer Matshela Koko over her death.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says: “We have partnered with the South African Police Service and the Hawks especially in dealing with the kingpins who are connecting people illegally. Unfortunately, some people are very myopic about this matter – for them [they want] electricity at all costs, but there are people who are maimed or killed because of illegal connections.”

The police have added AfriForum's complaint to the on-going investigation into the woman's death.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)