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Little boy suffers electrical burns

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The little boy was rescued from electrocution by a community member who managed to pull him away from the box

A FIVE-year-old Northern Cape boy incurred burns on different parts of his body after apparently touching exposed electrical cables near his home in Mandela Park, Kuruman.

Young Lester Voster was playing with his friends when he apparently received a 236-volt shock while hanging onto a municipal power box on Friday morning.

Voster was rushed to hospital for treatment and is in a stable condition.

The little boy was rescued from electrocution by a community member who managed to pull him away from the box.

The DA in the Northern Cape said that the incident should be a wake-up call to the Ga-Segonyana Municipality to urgently get its house in order before further serious injury to members of the public or even the loss of life.

According to the DA constituency head for the Kalahari, Willie Aucamp, the incident is due to the local government’s failure to address basic service delivery challenges in and around Kuruman.

“He (Lester) may have suffered injuries far worse, or even death” said Aucamp yesterday.

According to the DA, the party had reported the exposed wires to the municipality on Thursday, just a day prior to the incident.

While municipal workers reportedly came out to assess the power box, they apparently did nothing to solve the problem or even cordon off the dangerous area.

“In order to prevent further injuries, we convened an information session with the Mandela Park community on Saturday, to create awareness about the dangers of power boxes and exposed cables,” said Aucamp.

He added that the community has signed a petition addressed to the mayor, Neo Masegela, calling for the Ga-Segonyana Municipality to deal with safety issues in the area.

Aucamp also highlighted the many safety risks in and around Kuruman and neighbouring communities.

“These are directly related to exposed live cables and unlocked power boxes, not to mention dangerous unfilled holes in the streets. These all present grave danger to local residents, especially children who have nowhere else to play but in the streets, due to the fact that the local parks are not maintained and are in a terrible state.

“Given that it is school holidays and the festive season, many more people will be out and about in the next few weeks.

“The local government owes it to them to keep them safe this Christmas, not to cause them harm and untold misery through their failure to attend to basic safety risks,” concluded Aucamp.