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City works to replace, repair stolen and vandalised electricity infrastructure<span>​​​​​​<p>Almost R13,5 million was spent by the City’s Electricity Generation and Distribution Department between July 2019 and May 2020 to replace and repair damaged and stolen infrastructure. Sadly, vandalism and theft of critical electricity infrastructure is a challenge across the city and it more often than not affects the most vulnerable residents of Cape Town. </p><p>Much of this was spent in Area South which includes Philippi, Mitchells Plain, Muizenberg, and Wynberg.</p><p>‘Vandalism not only impacts negatively on residents’ lives but also on the public purse. Money that can be spent on other projects to improve the lives of residents has to be redirected to fix what is being destroyed.</p><p>‘Without the help from our residents, the City will never win the war against these crimes. To encourage this, the City offers a reward of R5 000 to anyone who provides information that leads to arrest, confiscation of stolen or illegal goods or the handing-in of illegal or stolen goods. This reward is also applicable to information leading to the arrest of people vandalising, damaging or stealing electricity infrastructure or installing illegal connections.</p><p>‘We are appealing to all members of the public to assist us by reporting any suspicious activities near electricity infrastructure or providing any leads on electricity tampering. Every bit of help to curb this extreme waste of City resources and reduce the discomfort and heightened security risks to our communities will make a difference,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:2529px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p>The Philippi area in particular has been hard hit by the ongoing scourge of illegal connections. Over the past two months especially, and prior to that, there have been constant electricity outages primarily due to overload and damage to equipment as a result of illegal connections in the greater Philippi area.</p><p>Philippi is an area characterised by a number of informal settlements that were created through land invasions primarily on private land. The law does not permit the City to install services on privately-owned land without the permission of the owner.</p><p>Parts of Philippi are supplied with electricity by the City and other parts are supplied by Eskom. We face the same challenges: </p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Illegal connections and the theft of electricity have affected supply to neighbouring communities and severely overloaded and damaged electricity infrastructure </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The illegal connections must be removed before the electricity supply can be restored</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">High levels of vandalism or stolen equipment also causes delays in repairs</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Criminal activity is very high with staff members and contractors being targeted. The South African Police Service and private security are often needed to escort staff who are vulnerable while working on site. Two private security guards who were escorting an Eskom team were recently murdered in the area<br></div></li></ul> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:802px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p>‘We will never give up on our efforts to improve the lives of our people and will continue working to restore electricity supply to the area. More than R2 million has been spent to date by the City to maintain and secure electricity supply to the neighbouring communities. Some community members from the informal settlement areas or possibly even syndicates have been tapping illegally into the existing electrical infrastructure, be it from overhead lines, underground cables, public lighting poles or distribution kiosks. This level of expenditure without realising any benefit for the intended community cannot be sustained and has the risk of being classified as fruitless and wasteful expenditure.</p><p>‘The City is willing to engage with anyone with a proposal for an immediate sustainable and legally allowable solution, other than the electrification of the informal settlements which is currently not an option because of the private land ownership,’ said Councillor Maxiti.</p><div><strong>Report damage to municipal electrical infrastructure:</strong></div><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">SMS: 31220</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Email: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></div></li></ul><p><strong>Anonymous tip-offs welcomed:</strong><br>Residents can give anonymous tip offs if they are aware of illegal activity that is taking place; that has happened or is still to happen. Please call 112 from a cell phone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies. </p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p><p> </p>2020-06-30T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#fc0a19bf-6a9b-42af-bc90-8a0d4b9f4eac;L0|#0fc0a19bf-6a9b-42af-bc90-8a0d4b9f4eac|vandalism;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#b195be29-9300-4dc7-ac99-92629ce847ac;L0|#0b195be29-9300-4dc7-ac99-92629ce847ac|electricity1

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