GEORGE NEWS - A person died from electrocution after illegally tampering with the electrical infrastructure at Tamsui substation on Wednesday 4 November. The incident caused a power outage that affected Thembalethu and sections of Rosedale.
On the same day, a four-year-old child from the Asazani informal settlement had to be hospitalised after touching an electrical cable that was illegally connected between houses.
George Municipality expressed concern over the continued practice of rigging up illegal connections. It is conducting an investigation into the death and will submit a report to the Department of Labour. The police has opened an inquest docket for a general inquiry into the death.
According to Acting Municipal Manager Steven Erasmus, both incidents are regarded in a serious light.
He said the municipality remains deeply concerned for the lives of innocent children, adults and animals and that the danger posed by illegal connections cannot be emphasised enough.
An electricity connection is considered illegal when it is connected to the municipal network without the municipality's permission. Connecting wires to a mini-substation or overhead pole is illegal.
Other forms of electricity theft include illegal electrification schemes and tampering or bypassing meters.
Illegal electricity theft mostly occurs in areas where people live in illegal informal structures.
In terms of the Criminal Procedures Act, interference with and damage to municipal property could be regarded as sabotage and if someone is found guilty of such an offence, a maximum term of imprisonment can follow.
Illegal connections should be reported on 044 803 9222 or 044 801 9222 or after hours on 044 801 6300.
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