City removes hazardous street light

The City has removed a “hazardous” street light, bristling with illegal wiring, from a road next to a temporary housing camp in Wallacedene, but the community’s days of having to use dangerous illegal connections to get electricity could soon be over thanks to plans to electrify the area before the end of the year.

The street light was bent and hanging over the street in the camp, dubbed a temporary residence area (TRA) by the City.

Residents had put their lives at risk by coiling illegally connected power cables around the street light, said DA proportional representation councillor, Xoliswa Paleka-Mapasa.

She said she had spotted the street light on Wednesday September 14 and it had been removed later the next day.

The street light, which had more than 30 illegal cables hanging on it, had been hit by a truck a month ago.

Mzola Tutu, chairman of TRA street committee, said the cables on the pole had connected shacks in the settlements to electrified houses in neighbouring Phase 3.

Mr Tutu said the TRA “has always been dark” since it was established in 2006.

He said the City and Eskom had started laying infrastructure in the area in September.Mr Tutu said criminals used the dark, cramped community to hide out after committing crimes elsewhere in Wallacedene.

Eskom provincial spokeswoman Jolene Henn said the City had requested the electrification of the TRA and Eskom hoped to do that, with R10 million from the Department of Energy, before the end of the year.

“All those beneficiaries that form part of the TRA who currently have illegal connections will be requested to remove their connections before the electrification project commences.

“We therefore appeal to the community for their co-operation,” Ms Henn said.

Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services, said the City hoped to replace the street light soon.