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Residents live in fear of municipality’s reckless power connection causing explosion

The cable, which supplies electricity to four other homes, runs from the main power-supply box, along the home owner's roof and onto the roofs of the other houses.

AFTER being forced to throw out thousands of rands worth of meat, groceries and medication, which has to be stored in the fridge, pensioners living in Merewent have had to bear the brunt of an unexplainable power failure which left them without electricity since September 5.

The pensioners, who live in Cochin Place in Merebank, were shocked and now live in fear of an explosion when municipal workers, tasked to rectify the problem, allegedly illegally connected electricity to their homes.

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Community leader Yusuf Vawda said, “We need the immediate intervention of the relevant departments, especially the Electricity Department and Area Based Management (ABM) to assist and resolve the situation as a matter of urgency, before the connection causes an explosion.

“After receiving complaints and concerns from pensioners, I escalated the complaint with the relevant department and ward committee members. I was told that the Electricity Department had visited the complainants and that power had been restored, but little did I realise that it was an illegal connection.”

When the SUN visited the affected homes with Vawda, it was found that a cable was connected from one of the homes that had electricity. The cable runs from the main power-supply box, along the homeowner’s roof and onto the roofs of about four other houses, and electricity is drawn from the one home to supply the homes without power.

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“The Electricity Department had promised the homeowner, who had allowed municipal workers to use the electricity from his home, as well as the pensioners affected by the outage, that this would be a temporary measure, however, it has been over two weeks and they did not return.

“We are concerned that this illegal connection, which is using more than the required amount of power from one home to service that of four other homes, is a ticking time bomb and will explode due to being overloaded. The lives of so many people are at stake, and it is shocking that the municipality can resort to these methods to silence the elderly residents,” Vawda added.

A comment from eThekwini Municipality was not available at the time of going to print.

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