Wednesday, 17 November 2021: An 11 year-old boy sustained fatal injuries after coming into contact with an illegal electricity connection in the Tjovitjo informal settlement, in Orange Farm, yesterday 16 November 2021. The incident is under investigation by Eskom and the South African Police Service (SAPS). The event happened along the Golden Highway in Orange Farm, Extension 2 where a group of boys were allegedly swimming in a pool of water next to the railway line, when one of them made contact with open wires on the ground. The deceased’s brother is alleged to have carried the victim’s body to the Golden Highway where the Gauteng Emergency Services (GES) found and declared him dead on the scene.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of this 11 year-old boy and we extend our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased. It is most concerning to us that it is often children who fall victim to these unscrupulous acts of criminality where cables are openly laid along the ground to steal electricity. Illegal connections are totally unsafe as they do not only risk injury to those conducting them, but also to others in the same vicinity. We have disconnected the wires that were illegally connected to the transformer supplying electricity to a neighbouring school, and we are working in partnership with the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies to remove these illegal connections in the area. Communities in areas with illegal connections tend to become hostile towards Eskom when removing these wires. Of further concern to us is that many communities tend to replace the removed illegal connections just a short time after their removal. We would like to urge members of the public to refrain from such acts of criminality as they are not only dangerous, but can be fatal” says Kith Maitisa, Eskom SHEQS Manager in Gauteng.
The power utility has intensified its customer education, shining the spotlight on incidents related to electricity safety and the responsible use of electricity, in support of its ‘Zero Harm’ value. Members of the public are further encouraged to report those conducting illegal electricity-related activities to the Eskom Crime Line on 0800 11 27 22.