Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Izinyoka’s operating in Ikemeleng by Buti Botopela

Illegal electricity connections
Question is why do people use illegally connected electricity?
The users and suppliers do not seem to know the consequences and danger of using illegal electricity. This illegal power connection is unfairly distributed, some people are connected and others are not, it’s all about favours and who can afford a monthly R50 fee paid to the supplier. The community supports the use of illegal power as they believe it will force or push the authority to install electricity in Ikemeleng.
The community of Ikemeleng has lived in the dark for years and lived on empty promises with no service delivery at all. The power is from the hostel built by Angburnes who accommodates his employees working at Kroondal Spar, and other form the community Apollo lights which mostly supplies businesses such as taverns, bottle stores, butcheries, and tuck-shops. The wire are loosely connected and not dug in deep, and this is dangerous to people and animals especially during rainy days.
I conducted an interview in one household as people are reluctant to speak about this issue freely.
The interviewees granted me permission to mention their names.
House no 774 Ikemeleng.
Thobias and Zacaria both use the illegal power.
1. Why are you using the illegal power?
They both said “it’s because it’s a need like water, and money to them”
2. Why is it like that?
“It’s an essential, and everybody uses it, we are tenants and we pay R50monthly electricity fee to our land lord”
3. Do you pay both the rent and electricity fee?
4. What happens if you do not pay the R50 fee?
“They cut your power”
5. What is the reason given by land lord, because seem as you overpaying, (rent and R50 fee)
“The land lord is unemployed and this is the only way of earning money, and he pays the supplier as well”
6. What’s your view on illegal power connection?
“It’s wrong but we not be blamed for using it, our government has to do something about it, we pay taxes and still live in the dark. A broer mak a plan and that’s exactly what we doing”.

There was a meeting held in Kroondal primary school regarding the approved budget of R16 million for electricity installation in June/July this year. The ward councillor and other local municipality officials were there to present the budget. Still today we still are waiting for the project to kick start.