08 December 2020
Johannesburg- City Power has warned against the dangers involved in the increase in the hijack and occupation of transformer substation chambers across the City of Johannesburg.
This comes after the discovery and eviction of a mother and her four children from inside the transformer substation during #KleenaJoburg operation in Randburg on Monday this week.
“The family believed to be from Zimbabwe had occupied an 11Kv High Voltage transformer substation chamber, making it a home with furniture that included chest-freezer, beds, wardrobe, stove, among other things” said Isaac Mangena from Johannesburg City Power.
“The youngest child is about 3yrs old and its not clear how long they have been staying in the chamber,” added Mangena.
“The problem of homelessness is big in the City of Johannesburg because of economic opportunities available. While the situation we found today is a sad one, it’s a very dangerous one and there are even children involved.”
“But the biggest concern is the illegality, risk, and vandalism that happened for them to be in there in the first place. That is why we had to save them by evicting them,” said MMC Mpho Moerane.
City Power has over 18 000 transformer chambers across the City of Johannesburg. These are being phased out because of most are old, and also of their attractiveness to vagrants who make them their homes.
“Already three people were found electrocuted in the chambers this past financial year, with at least two of them coming from Hursthill area that includes Westbury.”
MMC Moerane is engaging the Social Development Department and other authorities to assist the family with a place to stay and other social needs. Home Affairs Department will also be roped in to check the legality of some of the businesses raided during today’s operation.
During the operation several businesses were found with illegal connections of electricty, with a furniture shop and upholstery business closed for trading illegally.
Meanwhile,MMC Moerane bemoaned the lack of compliance by businesses failing to pay for revenue saying that the City will intensify operations so that businesses adhere to City’s regulations.
“It’s simple, businesses can afford to pay for services and they need to come on board and assist the City in revenue collection. If they don’t pay for services we will come to them and assist them in ensuring they
pay,” Moerane added.