Illegal connections disconnected in Isiqalo

Isiqalo informal settlement.

The City of Cape Town held an operation earlier this week to disconnect and remove illegal connections in and around Isiqalo informal settlement.

The operation conducted by the City’s law enforcement and electricity generation and distribution staff in collaboration with the police recovered a total of 78kg aluminium cable and 88kg of copper.

Sub-council 23 chairman Elton Jansen said the electrification of individual settlements would not be possible because the settlement is on private land (“Lights to come on for Isiqalo settlement”, Plainsman April 17).

The City spent more than R500 000 earlier this year repairing stolen, tampered with or vandalised infrastructure in the area.

Damaged infrastructure and current overloading due to illegal connections disrupt electricity supply to customers in the area.

Jakes Gerwel Drive and Weltevreden Road have also been damaged from trenches used to place illegal connection cables.

Last year, Isiqalo residents protesting over electricity and better accommodation became violent.

Mitchell’s Plain residents took to the streets over disruptions from the Isiqalo protests which prevented residents from going to work and school (“Witnesses to Isiqalo shootings sought”, Plainsman, May 16 2018).

Mr Jansen encouraged residents in Mitchell’s Plain and Isiqalo to form a project steering committee with representatives from both areas to address the need for housing by looking at the design of structures and qualifying criteria.

Bonginkosi Madikizela, leader of the DA in the Western Cape and former MEC for Human Settlements, also tasked residents with establishing a steering committee last year.

Mr Madikizela, who is now MEC for Transport and Public Works, said at the time the government will not buy the private land Isiqalo is on (“Committee to seek solutions for Isiqalo”, Plainsman, May 9 2018).

Phindile Maxiti, the City’s mayoral committee member for energy and climate change, said those arrested for illegal connections are likely to be charged under the Criminal Matters Amendment Act 18 of 2015.