Residents are urged to stop building structures under power pylons

City Power gives a reason why their workers destroyed the vegetable garden on Jan Smuts Avenue.


City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena has confirmed that they received a petition from Ward 102 residents complaining about Alfred Mkhize’s vegetable garden next to power pylons on Jan Smuts Avenue.

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Mkhize’s garden was then destroyed and flattened by the entity workers while he stood aside watching all his hard work thrown in plastic bin bags.

He explained that he received a lot of support from people who walked past him as he was selling to them. “They would come to me and ask for certain veggies and I was making a living. It is painful to see all my hard work destroyed and thrown away.”

Alfred Mkhize watched his garden destroyed on Jan Smuts Avenue. Photo: Mthulisi Lwazi Khuboni

Mangena said that their team from Stakeholder Relation Management investigated the matter and had numerous engagements with Mkhize. They explained all the possible dangers of erecting an illegal structure and living under power pylons.

“Following these engagements, the garden owner was then asked to harvest all his vegetables and stop planting or conducting activities under power pylons but refused to take the instructions. City Power was left with no option but to remove his garden in order to prevent possible damage to our infrastructure.”

City Power workers destroy the vegetable garden. Photo: Mthulisi Lwazi Khuboni

Mkhize admitted that he did have a shade he built on the power pylons for when it was hot, cold or raining. However, City Power people came to him a week before and asked him to not put anything near the pylons as it is dangerous and he took down the shade net immediately.

“The shade net was there for seven years. The minute they said I must take it down, I did. I don’t understand why they decided to destroy the garden. They should have told me not to plough under the lines. They could destroy there, but not the whole garden.”

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena.

Mangena added that they are concerned with a growing number of illegal structures being erected under overhead electricity cables.

“We encourage residents to report illegal activities that pose a threat to human life and to our electricity infrastructure. We also urge the community to refrain from building or erecting illegal structures under power lines to prevent damage to our infrastructure.”

Residents can call our toll-free number on 0800 202 925 to report any suspicious activities on the network.

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