Diepsloot residents vow to reconnect illegal power after Eskom operation

The power utility visited the informal settlement on Tuesday morning to disconnect illegal connections.

Eskom technicians remove illegal electricity connections in Diepsloot on 29 September 2020. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

DIEPSLOOT – The Diepsloot community on Tuesday said it felt targeted by government, saying officials fought every attempt they made to better their living conditions.

Eskom visited the informal settlement on Tuesday morning to disconnect illegal power connections.

The power utility in Gauteng launched its energy management and losses programme. Eskom said it lost R2.5 billion annually from illegal connections.

The Diepsloot community in Extension 13 had no power whatsoever, with some of the residents having lived there from as early as 1999.

GALLERY: Eskom removes illegal power connections in Diepsloot

One man said the police were quick to accompany Eskom officials to disconnect power, but not when they are needed in the community.

“When we call the police station, they say there are not enough police vans [and] we are told to walk to the garage. How, when I’ve been assaulted in the middle of the night?” he said.

He said they were trying to make the area as livable as possible.

“Police don’t drive into the informal settlement because it’s too dark at night. With these illegal connections we are creating our own safety by making streetlights.”

The community said it was not the first time that their power was disconnected, and they would simply reconnect once the Eskom officials left.

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