By Siposethu Hashe

Residents in NU9, Mdantsane are furious after an electric transformer was set alight by illegal connections at a nearby informal settlements.

Electricity thefts has become a huge problem in the township of Mdantsane, as the number of informal settlements is increasing daily, illegal electricity connections are also increasing. Residents who live near the informal settlements have been complaining about electricity outages since the beginning of the year.

One of the residents that were affected said that they even stopped buying electricity because of the illegal connections the electricity is always off, they are using gas stoves and paraffin lamps now.

“We have been experiencing electricity outages for quite some time now but since the beginning of this year things got worse, the electricity only stays on for an hour maximum then it goes off. These illegal connections are costing us, some of our electrical appliances are damaged because of this, the informal settlement are really making our lives difficult and the worst part is that we still have to pay Municipality electricity rates at the end of the month despite not having electricity” said one of the residents Noncedo Fuba.

In the early hours of Thursday morning residents were woken up by a fire, the transformer where the illegal wires are connected was burning. They tried to put out the fire using soil as they feared getting electrocuted if they used water. Luckily, the fire brigade arrived at the scene in time before the fire could spread any further, but the transformer was badly damaged. This left the residents in the dark with no electricity for days.

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