The City of Ekurhuleni has decluttered illegally connected cables at Dukathole informal settlement in Germiston to reduce the burden on its electricity network.
The power cables, mostly running underground, were removed in the early hours of Tuesday by a multi-disciplinary operation led by the City’s Energy Department and Ekurhuleni Metro Police.
The operation was to restore the electrical network in the area and surrounds after four transformers exploded. Illegal connections were suspected to have caused the explosion, city spokesperson Themba Gadebe said in statement.
“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 an overloaded electricity supply grid, which results in persistent power supply interruptions experienced in the area,” he said.
Electrical infrastructure components such as transformers, switchgear and cables were also destroyed. Meters for the illegal connections were also discovered in the operation.
“Plans are underway to install new transformers and other damaged electrical equipment to stabilise the supply of electricity,” Gadebe said.
Ekurhuleni’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Water, Sanitation and Energy Tiisetso Nketle said in order for the transformers to be reinstalled, work needed to be done on the network that has not been tempered with through illegal connections.
The municipality says it loses close to R800 million annually in unaccounted electricity due to illegal power connections across the metro.
Residents have been encouraged to report any illegal connection or suspicion of illegal connection activities through the municipal call centre on 086 054 3000.