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Illegal power battle escalates


The shack dwellers have now set up illegal electricity connections to their dwellings

Residents from Galeshewe Number 2 blocked Tyson Street again yesterday. Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE BATTLE of the feuding neighbours over illegal electricity connections in Twaku Street, Galeshewe, has escalated, with death threats apparently being made.

The fight has already spilled over onto the streets, with residents blocking part of Tyson Street on Tuesday and yesterday with rocks, branches and burning tyres.

The police were called in to disperse the residents, who said that they would not be moved until the Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, addresses them.

The residents have said that enough is enough, either everybody has electricity or nobody has electricity. According to the residents, the houses on one side of the street have services, including electricity, while the residents living in shacks on the other side of the street do not have basic services.

The shack dwellers have now set up illegal electricity connections to their dwellings.

“We heard on the radio today that one of the shack dwellers was calling in saying that if the Sol Plaatje Municipality disconnects their illegal connections they will kill one of us,” one of the homeowners, Laurence Mwanazi, said yesterday.

Homeowners gathered yesterday after the Sol Plaatje Municipality reportedly arrived to reconnect the transformer.

“We held a meeting to decide on a way forward,” Mwanazi said yesterday, “and we plan to shut down the road again until we are addressed by the Sol Plaatje executive mayor.”

He added that the community is also mobilising and drawing up a petition calling on the ward councillor, Mary Sebego, to step down.

“Her arrogance in dealing with the issue is unbelievable. We believe that she is protecting her boyfriend who we have been told is actually supplying electricity illegally,” Mwanazi stated.

He went on to say that if the Sol Plaatje Municipality does not disconnect the illegal cables, the residents will have to take it further and call a mass community meeting.

On Tuesday, the Office of the Mayor promised to meet with the residents. Persome Oliphant, spokesperson in the Mayor’s Office, said at the time that the executive mayor had discussed the matter with the Speaker, the chief whip of council and the member of the mayoral committee responsible for utility services.

“The Office of the Executive Mayor, together with the Speaker and the councillor, will engage the residents on these matters at a community meeting to come to a speedy resolution,” Oliphant had said on Tuesday.

According to Mwanazi, the residents are still waiting for any representative from the Sol Plaatje Municipality to address them. – Staff Reporter