Protests erupt in Soweto after City Power cuts illegal electricity connections

File Picture: Itumeleng English

File Picture: Itumeleng English

Published Aug 25, 2022


Pretoria - Rocks and burning tyres were used to blockade various routes in Soweto on Thursday when residents protested after City Power disconnected illegal power connections.

The electricity was disconnected on Wednesday.

A group of residents gathered on Chris Hani Road in Orlando East demanding lights be switched back on.

City Power spokesperson, Isaac Mangena said electricity was cut as a result of illegal connections which cause an overload to the power supply.

“The issue of illegal connections is huge, on the last count, we had about 231 to 235 informal settlements across the City of Johannesburg, most of those have not been physically connected with services from the City of Johannesburg, so it means they are stealing electricity,” he told eNCA.

Mangena added that the issue of illegal connections has cost the City a lot of money and contributed to fatalities where children were electrocuted due to the exposed wires.

“The problem does not start with us, it starts with people coming to the City of Johannesburg wanting to find a job without any place to stay, and when they find an open space, they erect shacks and connect themselves to services,” he said.

He added that for people to access services in their newly developed areas, they have to approach the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development who can legalise their settlement.

Earlier, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) disconnected illegal connections in Riverlea, west of Joburg.

The JMPD said it removed 150kg of illegal cables.