City Power to fight illegal connections

Johannesburg - City Power will continue its fight against people using illegal electricity connections, the utility said on Tuesday.

City Power said it remained committed to this despite intimidation of employees.

Spokesperson Louis Pieterse said employees were intimidated and chased by some members of the community in Lenasia in the south of Johannesburg when they visited the area to disconnect illegal connections on Monday.

"City Power wishes to condemn the intimidation of our employees who were doing their duties to disconnect illegal and dangerous connections to the grid," Pieterse said in a statement.

"Lenasia has experienced debilitating power outages recently which in part are a result of these connections."

Pieterse said illegal connections posed extreme danger to users and put the grid under undue pressure resulting in outages due to overload. They also constituted a significant revenue loss to City Power and the City of Johannesburg.

Illegal connections also put lives at risk as there was inadequate protection against the illegally connected live wires, resulting in a higher risk of fire and electrocution.

Pieterse said the company was now looking at new metered boxes to deter electricity theft.

"As part of the prevention measures against electricity theft and loss of revenue, City Power is in the process of installing prepaid meters in protective structures (vandal proof boxes) to avoid user interference and tampering," he said.

City Power urged residents to report illegal electricity connections.