Herman Mashaba on illicit electricity connections: ‘SA needs the political will to serve’

ActionSA leader and former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba says SA needs political will to serve, a professional public service and private sector-led development to combat the destruction of infrastructure.

Mashaba was reacting to illegal electricity connections in Kya Sands and claimed they have resulted in some local factories closing shop because of power outages.

“Something drastic has to happen before it is too late to reverse: illegal electricity connections in Kya Sands, resulting in local factories eventually closing shop. Without the political will and application of the country’s laws, our country is soon going to dearly pay,” he tweeted.

A Twitter user asked whether it was fair to blame the residents for connecting to the network illegally and not Eskom and City Power for their failure to provide power in informal settlements.

He further challenged Mashaba, who was Joburg mayor until 2019, saying the connections didn’t stop with him at the helm.

In December last year, City Power and Eskom cracked down on illegal power connections in formal and informal settlements.

This came after the power utility did an audit in the Waterfall Estate in Midrand, where it found that some residents had connected to the electricity network illegally. Eskom’s Ronel Kotze said some residents were disconnected from the network.

“Eskom is losing millions per year due to illegal connections to the network. We find that customers are prepared to pay someone to illegally connect them rather than to pay Eskom for the consumption,” Kotze said.

Isaac Mangena of City Power said Eskom lost about R2bn in non-technical losses which included illegal connections. He said the revenue could have been used for infrastructure development.

Among hotspots, he said, are informal settlements such as Alexandra and Rabie Ridge in Midrand.

Updated: February 16, 2021 — 10:00 am

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