Legal electrical connections bring smiles

Pholile B in Nomzamo is now connected to the electricity grid. PHOTO: provided

The connection of 237 households to the electricity grid by the City of Cape Town has brought many smiles to the informal settlement of Pholile B in Nomzamo.

Residents had hooked up the electricity illegally for years, but on Saturday July 6, that changed for the better.

The city says that in city-served areas and on city-owned land, where possible, nearly all of the former underground settlements have been connected to electricity.

Mayco City Member for Energy Beverley van Reenen and other dignitaries attended the ignition which brought much relief to residents

“It was a special day for the City community and Pholile B. Staff and contractors have been working on this project since 2018 and it is expected to be completed in the current fiscal year, if all goes according to plan,” Van said. Reenen.

“We are particularly pleased that this project immediately improves the living conditions of residents, especially during the winter months. This electrification project will improve the living conditions of the community as well as the safety of residents who can now walk away from dangerous open flames for light and warmth,” she said.

The City thanked the community for their patience as work continues and said it remains committed to providing electrical services where and to the extent possible.

“We encourage residents to take care of the infrastructure and report any tampering and illegal connections. Any suspicious activity can be reported to the South African Police Service (Saps) or the city,” she recalled.

Van Reenen said that in recent months the city has seen a significant increase in vandalism and damage to its electrical infrastructure in some areas, and attacks on city staff and contractors continue.

A happy Nowanele Gwadu said she couldn’t believe the day had finally come for her to own meter boxes.

“The electricity issue is a tricky one. I’m glad we’re finally here because it’s been a struggle for many years to get good electricity,” she said.

Gwadu said they relied on illegal connections because it was difficult to live without electricity, especially during cold winter days.

To report damage to municipal electrical infrastructure:

Anonymous reports are welcome:

Residents can give anonymous reports if they know of ongoing illegal activities; that has happened or is yet to happen.

  • Please call 112 from a mobile phone (free call) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 in case of emergency.