Illegal connections cause chaos for Coronationville residents

Another illegal electricity connection.

As winter creeps in, residents of Coronationville face days without electricity. Like Marianne Minnaar and other residents in Harmony Street, Coronationville, they lived without electricity for five days.

Other residents in the area complained that they have been paying for electricity but they are the ones who are suffering due to the illegal connections from across the road going into Slovo Informal Settlement.

“We have reported the issue countless of times, we have reference numbers but City Power always takes long to assist us,” said Minnaar.



A cable which was said to be tamper-proof had suddenly been tampered with as well. The illegal connections have caused appliances to malfunction and as many residents have explained that their food even goes to waste with power outages.

“The problem is that the informal settlement belongs to the provincial government and they are responsible for it but they are not coming to the party.

“This problem affects us as the City because it’s residents who are actually paying for the electricity who are affected the most,” said Member of Mayoral Committee of Environment and Infrastructure Services, Nico de Jager.


Ward Councillor Genevieve Sherman.


Residents are also concerned with a pole in Coronationville Secondary School where the pole is used to hold up the illegal cables. In conversation with the chairman of the School Governing Body (SGB), Khana Amod explained that they have been engaging with the council on the matter and that these connections really have a huge effect on the school with regards to the electricity bill as well as the safety of their learners.

According to de Jager, there are syndicates who are operating in the informal settlements. These syndicates are the ones who are connecting the illegal cables into the informal settlement.


“I wouldn’t say that City Power is doing nothing. We installed an additional cable in hopes that if they have to connect they will use that cable and not the electrical cables from our residents but this did not work,” said de Jager.



When asked if the City was then allowing the illegal connections to continue, de Jager explained that the additional cable was merely a short-term solution until they got a permanent one.

“We are not in law enforcement and housing so we cannot intervene without the relevant parties. We need to think of how we keep the residents safe from both sides because riots can break out,” he said.

The MMC said that the Ward councillors are constantly in contact with him over this issue, however, officials from City Power has been sent out to assess the situation in Coronationville and Crosby.


Illegal cables connected from the flats in Coronationville to the High School.


“We are now waiting on the managing director (MD) of City Power to come back with feedback so that we can get a way forward,” said de Jager.

As homeowners explained their living conditions and their frustration with the City, City Power, Metro police, the councillor and the Sophiatown police, the only unfortunate thing they can actually do is to wait for a permanent solution.




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Janice Beckett

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