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Illegal electrical connections a danger

One municipal worker was seriously injured and another sustained less serious injuries when they were attacked while off duty recently.

It is believed the attacks stem from certain members of the community’s disgruntlement over disconnecting of illegal electrical connections. This, says Overstrand Municipality, affects service delivery in Zwelihle.

“Over the past couple of weeks illegal electricity connections have got out of hand in the Marikana and Dubai informal settlements,” said Overstrand Municipal Manager Coenie Groenewald, “and as a result, service delivery is being compromised. Power failures are reported on a daily basis when illegal connections trip the electricity supply”.

The municipality reports two employees of the Electricity Department in Hermanus, who live in Zwelihle, were attacked in two separate incidents outside of working hours last week. One of the workers sustained serious injuries. The municipality says it is believed that the attacks were most likely carried out by disgruntled residents of the area.

“The Electricity Department is committed to good service delivery, but the conditions on the ground make it almost impossible for these workers to perform their duties,” said Groenewald.

“It is the municipal workers who assist with maintaining the electricity network in the greater Hermanus area, and who live in Zwelihle, that are being targeted and threatened with violence.

“It feels as if employees must now risk their lives (and those of their families) on a daily basis to deliver services to our communities. It would be irresponsible not to take heed of the threats. To make matters worse, municipal vehicles are also being peppered with stones,” he added.

Currently, illegal electrical connections are removed on a regular basis, to prevent unplanned power outages and ensure the safety of the community and the infrastructure.

Overstrand Municipality has appealed to residents of Zwelihle to be patient when power outages are reported.

“Since the safety of the workers must be taken into consideration, a rapid response to restoring the power supply, especially at night, may not be possible,” said the municipality in a statement.

. Twee munisipale werkers van die elektrisiteitsafdeling in Hermanus (hulle woon in Zwelihle) is verlede week buite werksure aangerand.

“Munisipale werkers wat behulpsaam is met instandhoudingswerk reg oor die Groter Hermanus-area en in Zwelihle woon, word met geweld gedreig. Boonop word munisipale voertuie met klippe gegooi,” lui ’n verklaring van Overstrand Munisipaliteit. “Die omstandighede op grondvlak maak dit bykans onmoontlik vir die werkers om hul pligte uit te voer,” het die munisipale bestuurder, Coenie Groenewald, gesê.

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