29 April 2019
Second death in 12 months due to illegal electricity tampering
A second person has died on Thursday, 25th April after being electrocuted in Zone 8, Thembalethu, whilst illegally tampering with municipal electrical infrastructure. The man, approximately 30 years old, was electrocuted at around 14h15 and died in hospital later the same evening.
This is the second victim of electrocution due to illegal tampering in the past 12 months. In August 2018, a man was killed while trying to run a wire across a ravine from New Dawn Park, Pacaltsdorp to the informal settlement, All Bricks in Thembalethu.
At the Zone 8 incident, it would appear that the deceased attempted to operate and tamper with the high voltage fuse links protecting the transformer. He seemed to have used two wattle poles tied together with wire to operate the fuse links – an extremely dangerous act which ultimately led to his death. This particular area in Thembalethu is hamstrung by illegal connections, making the electricity supplies to legal consumers unreliable.
Attempts by the Municipality to clamp down on the illegal connections have been relatively unsuccessful and the Municipality strongly condemns such illegal connections as they not only pose a risk to the life of the person attempting the connection but also are of extreme danger to any child, adult or animal in the area.
Illegal electricity connections draw more electricity from the network than anticipated, which causes power failures and inconveniences to law-abiding paying customers. Communities must be alert to the basics of safe electricity usage and the risks associated with electricity theft, meter tampering, bypassing and illegal connections. A full investigation will be carried out in regard to this incident.
The public is once again urged to come forward to report incidents of illegal connections, especially whilst being done. Report all tampering or electricity theft to George Protection Service Offices during work hours 044 8016350 or the after-hours number on 044 8016300.Last published 29 April 2019