KNYSNA NEWS - A very convenient basic service that allows for so much, electricity should still be respected and handled with care. So said Knysna municipal manager Dr Sitembele Vatala, who added, "This also means not connecting to the electricity supply illegally."
He reminded users that if they are paying to have electricity connected from anyone other than the municipality, they are doing so illegally.
"The person charging you to do so is also doing so illegally. And an illegal electrical connection can end up costing you much, much more than the money you paid for it," Vatala warned.
Electricity is dangerous. Risks associated with illegal connections include damage to property, fires, disabling injuries and even death, the MM said.
These connections can overload the existing legal infrastructure, create protection grading problems, interrupt the quality of the supply and lead to faults occurring, Vatala said, adding that it also presents an external financial implication to the municipality.
"You may think that you are simply connecting your home to electricity when doing so through an illegal supplier," said Vatala. "The truth is that you are inviting damage and bodily harm into your home. Perhaps even worse – death and destruction. I am not engaging in fearmongering, these are very real possibilities."
The municipality is constructing formal housing in various wards and have temporarily relocated some of the beneficiaries, Vatala said.
While it is impossible to pinpoint the exact amount, he added, it is estimated that approximately 340 illegal connections have been made in these temporary relocation areas – which does not take into account the number of existing illegal connections in other areas, or those being made every day.
"Please do not consider having electricity connected illegally," Vatala concluded. "Not only are you putting strain on and negatively impacting the existing legal infrastructure, you are – quite literally – playing with fire."
Residents are encouraged to report illegal electrical connections to 044 302 6397/9.
'We bring you the latest Knysna, Garden Route news'