Kouga local municipality
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Alternative Number:+27 (0)42 200 8330
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Last modified: 19 Nov 2018
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Why illegal electricity is a death trap

15 November 2018

An electricity connection is considered illegal when it is made to a municipality or Eskom's network without permission. Examples are connecting to a mini-substation or overhead pole.

Doing this poses a great risk, Eskom warns on its website. 

One of the dangers is that it overloads the system, which causes the power connection to trip, leaving everyone in the area without electricity. 

The reason for the system overloading is that when the municipality installs electricity in a community, the technicians look at how much electricity is needed by the number of homes and the number of people per home in the area. 

When you connect illegally, you draw from the same equipment which was meant for only a certain number of households, resulting in the equipment overloading and the system tripping.

Illegal connections also cause electrocution because such connections are usually constructed unsafely and don’t have the required electrical protection.

Too often, innocent people lose their lives due to illegal connections. The saddest and most concerning part is that it is often children who are electrocuted when they unwittingly touch carelessly laid cables left by those who steal electricity.

Illegal connections are usually done by unqualified people who not only risk electrocuting themselves but also expose other people to danger and the risk of injury and death if they make contact with the connection.

It puts the whole community at risk because these connections lie across pathways and walkways where anyone passing by can easily be electrocuted. 

An additional risk is that illegally connected wires can also make contact with other items such as roofs, gutters and washing lines, making these items live and able to conduct electricity.

It can also cause fires.