Category Archives: electricty

Daily News: Kennedy Road: teen hurt

The security guard killed last month was shot in Kenville, an area where there is no AbM branch.

Kennedy Road: teen hurt

August 8 2011 at 04:00pm


Mlamuli Bango was at the wrong place, at the wrong time. The 16-year-old was coming back from a shop when he was shot with rubber bullets during a clash between residents and security guards at the Kennedy Road informal settlement on Saturday.

“I heard gunshots and that there was some problem with the people and illegal electricity connections,” said the Grade 8 Lakehaven Secondary School pupil.

He was then hit three times, once on his arm and twice on his back.

Security guards and some residents at the Kennedy Road informal settlement have clashed in the past as the municipality looks to disconnect illegal electricity connections and deal with cable theft.

A month ago, a man was shot on the chin with a rubber bullet when guards raided the settlement.

Illegal connections and cable theft cost ratepayers R120 million a year.

Mlamuli spent Saturday night in Addington Hospital and was discharged yesterday.

“The doctors said that I must come back if I feel any pain,” he said.

“I’m scared now. I wish I could live somewhere else,” said Bango.

His mother, Nomonde, said that she was worried about her children walking the streets.

“What if this happens again?

“And what if he is killed the next time?” she asked.

Nozuko Hulushe, Bango’s aunt, who witnessed the incident, said she saw members of a private security company raiding dwellings and removing cables that had been used to illegally connect electricity.

“Members of the community got angry because we need the electricity – it is a basic need that has not been provided by the municipality,” she said.

Police spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge, said police had received a report that a 16-year-old boy had been shot with rubber bullets.

“Some of the private security guards were assaulted. There was gunfire that came from within the settlement,” he said.

President of Abahlali baseMjondolo, the shack dwellers’ movement, Sbu Zikode, said police needed to find out who was responsible for shooting Mlamuli.

“This is the reality of the war that the eThekwini Municipality and the government of South Africa is waging on the poor of this country day after day,” he said.

“Who was responsible for the shooting: the guards or the community?” he asked.

Mdunge said there were no Metro police officers or SAPS members on the scene.

eThekwini Municipality department of electricity head, Sandile Maphumulo, said his department was aware that people living in shacks needed electricity but said committees were meeting to discuss how they would go about doing this later this month.

“The challenge is bigger than people think,” he said at the time.

The community was still tense after a security guard tasked with protecting city workers was killed last month.

Cape Times: Electricity protest turns ugly

Electricity protest turns ugly

By Caryn Dolley

Fourteen Rylands residents and a baby are in police custody after a protest over electricity became violent.

Stones were hurled at officers, who retaliated by using a water cannon and stun grenades. The protesters also stoned motorists on Pooke Road, alongside their informal settlement on a stretch of privately-owned land, and threatened workers walking in the area.

At the moment, only toilets at the back of the settlement have electricity, but the residents – some who have been without power for more than two decades – do not.

When the Cape Times team arrived at the Pooke se Bos settlement yesterday, black smoke could be seen rising from the burning tyres and debris blocking the road. Rocks and stones were strewn on the tar.
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A group of about 60 residents were shouting at heavily armed officers watching them.

“Give us electricity. We’ve waited so long. We don’t want to fight with you. Just help us,” a woman shouted.

Another said she had waited for electricity for 21 years.

Sitting in his shack nearby, a resident, who did not want to be named, said living without electricity was “exhausting”.

“It’s tough. Especially when it’s cold, we suffer. I cook with gas and struggle to keep my place warm. It’s not fair,” he said.

Police officers then warned the group of residents, milling around on the pavement and threatening to stones cars, to disperse. After a few warnings they had still refused to do so. An officer then threw two stun grenades nearby, causing them to run away. Officers then chased residents and warned them to stay indoors.

Police had earlier used a water cannon to disperse a group after stones were thrown at officers.

Athlone police spokesman Ian Bennett said 14 residents had been arrested for public violence. A baby girl was also being kept with her mother in police custody, at her mother’s request.

Bennett said the 14 would appear in court by tomorrow.

Ward councillor Musthapha Murudker said the city council had initially not been able to provide the residents with electricity because they were on privately-owned land.

About two years ago, the land owner, Kanti Patel, had agreed to let the council install electricity, which had been provided to the toilets. Residents were promised power, but then, due to issues with Eskom, the city council had decided not to do this.

Murudker said he planned to visit the area and meet the residents’ committee.

The Cape Times was not able to reach Patel yesterday.

* This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Times on August 18, 2010

South Durban Community Picket & Mobilisation Against Eskon


The SDCEA and its affiliates are hosting several public meetings to bring to the attention of the public that ESKOM has made application to the National Energy Regulator South Africa to increase its ELECTRICITY TARIFF’S BY 35% for 2010 /2011 to 2012. Eskom is South Africa’s biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, and wants to continue increasing their emissions by expanding their coal fired power stations.

The SDCEA has decided that the public is unaware of the public hearings been conducted on the 18TH January 2010 from 09.00am until 15.00pm by the National Energy Regulator at the International Convention Centre [ICC] Durban, as the advertisement was advertised in December 2009 when several of the communities were either on holiday or too busy shopping for the festive season. The SDCEA and its affiliates registered to present verbal submissions to NERSA opposing the increases. The SDCEA by hosting public meetings is giving the public an opportunity to provide input into the submissions that will be made on the day.

In addition the SDCEA has made formal arrangements to picket at the hearing and demonstrate the communities outrage with ESKOM.

All communities that will be affected will unite and stand as one against this proposed increase by ESKOM .This picket by the communities of South Durban and Durban will put pressure on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa not to allow this increase of both emissions and tariffs through.

The public meetings will held at the following venues:

* Tuesday 12th January 2010-600pm –Isipingo Lotus Park Community Hall. Contact person Mr Nowbuth –0826131886
* Wednesday 13th January 2010-6.30pm –Austerville Civic Centre –contact Patrick Mkhize 031-3012557/ 0835550023
* Thursday 14th January 2010 – Clairwood YAS Education Centre –contact Rishi Singh cell 0825533907

Agenda for public meetings are:

* ESKOM’s proposed Tariff increase of 35%

o ESKOM’s increase of greenhouse gas emissions
o The general state of electricity provided in our community

It is ‘Now or Never.

Submitted by the SDCEA

All are welcome and are encouraged to attend.

SDCEA Office—031-4611991/4689069 Desmond cell 0839826939


Daily News: ‘No one can have it if we can’t’

Note how this article conflates community connections and copper cable theft – two completely different things….and how threats from above are normalized while a threat from below, with a clearly spelled out logic, is ‘bizarre’…

‘No one can have it if we can’t’
20 August 2008, 12:14

By Heinz de Boer

“If you remove our cables, you had better move all the power from the area. No-one can have it if we are not allowed to (have electricity).”

This is part of a bizarre threat made to the city after vandals destroyed a mini substation and totally blacked out a large part of Sea Cow Lake from Friday. The electricity supply was restored on Tuesday.

A note was left behind holding the city to ransom and threatening more of the same if the city clamped down on illegal connections and cable theft.

Durban Electricity deputy head Roy Wienand on Tuesday confirmed a major act of sabotage in the Sea Cow Lake region, saying vandals blacked out a large area after tampering with the equipment.

Although the financial implications of the sabotage are still being calculated, a single mini substation is conservatively valued at R100 000.

Wienand said the note threatened that the same would happen if the council did not allow illegal connections to remain. He said theft would, however, continue until the socio-economic conditions behind the thefts were eradicated.

“There is generally rampant theft of electricity and illegal connections in the Sea Cow Lake area. As fast as we replace these cables they are stolen again. But unless we police 24 hours a day it will happen. Wherever there are informal settlements where poor people have not been provided with electricity the temptation to connect illegally is often too great for some,” he said.

Then there are the professional thieves who have made the wholesale theft of major electrical lines their business. Armed with chainsaws, the gangs often target rural or desolate areas where cables run.

Several private security cars were on standby at the Sea Cow Lake site on Tuesday morning as Durban Electricity workers and private contractors replaced cables and switching gear. It is understood that two transformers also had to be replaced.

The incident is only one in the bigger picture of copper cable and electricity theft, which is costing ratepayers millions each year. Wienand confirmed that about 2 percent or R30-million of all electricity bought from Eskom is stolen annually.

This figure doubles when labour costs and equipment is factored in.

Recently thieves caused a pylon at Isipingo to collapse after the mounting bolts on its four legs were removed. Three men were arrested after the incident.

The city had to fork out R2-million for the new overhead pylon. The cost to businesses in the South Durban region from this incident alone has been estimated at between R50-million and R100-million.

Durban is now looking at forming an elite anti-theft unit, following the example of the Cape “Copper Heads”.

“Ultimately, the only way to solve electricity theft is to provide everyone with power in their homes. But we are improving our patrols and will definitely not sit on our hands and do nothing. But unfortunately as Cape Town has success with these gangs, they will move up the coast, and as we have success they will move to other areas. Arrests are the only way of stopping it. We will definitely curb it,” Wienand said.

Members of the public who spot suspicious contractors or people tampering with lines can call 031 311 9611.

* This article was originally published on page 1 of The Daily News on August 20, 2008