Kouga local municipality
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Last modified: 14 Oct 2020
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Clamping down on illegal electricity

25 August 2020

Law enforcement agencies will be joining hands to clamp down on illegal electricity connections in the Kouga region. 

Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu said the municipality would be working closely with the police and court to bring perpetrators to book. 

"In the past the focus was on confiscating illegal wiring and fining those who supply the power illegally," he said. 

"This has, however, not helped to curb the problem. Residents simply reconnect the illegal wiring while those who supply the power make sufficient money from illegal electricity sales to pay the fines and continue regardless."

He said the municipality's Electrical Services section had met with the police last week. 

"The support of the police is critical as municipal teams are threatened and even attacked when they remove illegal wiring," he said. 

"There have also been instances where mobs have tried to destroy municipal infrastructure in retaliation for the confiscation of illegal wiring."

He said monthly operations would be held with the police to remove illegal wiring and to fine or arrest those involved.  Smaller weekly operations would also be held, targeting hot spots in Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and St Francis. 

"The focus will not only be on those supplying the electricity," he said. 

"Those caught using electricity illegally will be brought to book as well as it is akin to being in possession of stolen goods.

"Those who install the illegal connections will also face the full might of the law."

He said the municipality would be working closely with the courts to ensure those involved in the installation, supply or use of illegal electricity faced hefty fines or even prison sentences. 

"Illegal electricity is extremely dangerous. It increases the risk of fires breaking out in informal settlements while people and animals can be shocked to death by the exposed wiring," he said. 

"It also leads to the system overloading and the disruption of the supply to those with legal electricity connections. We have seen this happening more and more often in places such as Ocean View, Tokyo Sexwale, Pellsrus, KwaNomzamo and Humansdorp as a whole."

He said the municipality had been electrifying new sites and houses yearly but that the influx of people to the region was simply too great to avail electricity to everyone. 

"Housing projects such as the Ocean View 1 500 development will help to address the problem in the long term but it has become necessary for immediate and decisive action to be taken in order to keep our broader communities safe and serviced."