South Africa News

Residents in Howick concerned about illegal electricity connections in their communities ahead of May elections

The problem of unauthorized power connections is a major concern that overshadows the Howick community’s aspirations for development and improvement as the 2024 elections approach.

In addition to posing serious safety risks, illegal connections intensify already-existing socio-economic inequalities and have an undesirable effect on the lives of many in this community.

The numerous illegal wires on poles and directly above the majority of the shacks and houses are easily visible when strolling through the area. The majority of the wires are connected, illegally, to the houses nearby.

Concerned local Ntombizodwa Ngubane vented her frustration.

“These illegal connections are not only dangerous but also unfair,” she remarked.

“While some people get away with stealing electricity, we pay our electricity bills. It’s not right.

‘’The spread of these illegal electricity connections has presented serious difficulties for us as citizens and law enforcement for many years. These unauthorized connections hinder utility providers’ efforts to invest in vital services and infrastructure development whilst also causing revenue losses,’’ said Ngubane.

Another resident, homeowner Sipho Dlamini, said: “We live in constant fear of fires and electrocutions caused by these illegal connections. Our leaders must act decisively to protect our security”.

Another resident, Thokozani Ngcongo, who runs a small business, said: “My livelihood is negatively impacted by the unreliability of electricity caused by these illegal electricity connections, which disrupts my business operations. We require a long-term fix for this issue,”

Chris Pappas, the uMngeni mayor told the publication the municipality was busy conducting routine meter audits to check for illegal connections.

“The municipality is also carefully tracking payments of accounts and purchases of pre-paid electricity.

“This enables us to determine where people are not paying. Non-payment or illegal connections result in the municipality disconnecting consumers. People are then encouraged to come forward to settle their accounts before electricity is restored.’’

Pappas said the municipality was also working with its councillors, ward committees, and police to educate people about paying for services.

‘’The uMngeni Municipality provides the highest amount of free basic electricity of all municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal. The municipality provides 200kwh to qualifying households. This is to support poor and vulnerable households.’’ said Pappas.

As residents prepare to cast their votes in the 2024 national elections, they hope to elect leaders who prioritize the safety and well-being of their constituents.

-IOL Elections

In other news – Young Stunna shows off his new house, gives all thanks to Kabza De Small – WATCH

Well-known South African Amapiano singer and dancer, Young Stunna expresses excitement as he shows off his new house. The musician has made a good impact in the music industry with his sound and it’s catalysed him to the peak.

Young Stunna

Stunna shared a video of himself resting in the new house, and captioned it with words of gratitude to Kabza De Small. Young Stunna has always thanked Kabza for believing in him; he also calls him Papa. Read More