GEORGE NEWS - Vandalism and illegal connections are the reason why Zone 6 in Thembaletu had their power switched off on Tuesday 12 April, said Municipal Spokesperson Chantèl Edwards-Klose.
Protesters claimed earlier today that they have been without electricity since Monday afternoon.
According to the municipality they could not continue with repair work until the illegal connections were removed.
“The disconnection of illegal connections is a specialist field that requires workers specifically trained for it - in times when additional staff are needed, the municipality appoints qualified service providers with the necessary skills to help remove the lines,” said Edwards-Klose.
Protesters demand legal electrification of their dwellings, saying they can’t wait any longer.
In their official comment, Edwards-Klose refers to previous reports on the matter and stress the importance of bulk infrastructure which needs to be in place for an area to be electrified: “After the bulk infrastructure has been installed and commissioned, only then can individual houses or structures be electrified. Electrification of structures amounts to between R10 – 13 000 per structure. There are a total of 7 900 informal structures in the George area and the estimated cost to electrify all of them is between R70-million to R91-million and that is not possible within the current financial constraints.”
“Council recently considered a list prioritised by Electrotechnical Services for the 2020/2021 financial year. The allocated budget amount for this financial year is R800 000, which will allow for approximately 80 informal structures in established areas to be electrified. Council also resolved that going forward, a multi-disciplinary task team be established to address service delivery issues within the informal areas in George.”
Illegal connections can be reported on 044 803 9222 or 044 801 9202 or after hours on 044 801 6300 or at your nearest police station.
The dangers of illegal power connections are regularly posted on the municipality's social media channels and are broadcast on community radio stations.
- Update: Protest over electricity in Asazani
- '1 Shack, 1 box': Protesters ask for help
- Protest action in Thembalethu
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