JOHANNESBURG, August 11 – The City of Tshwane launched an operation to get rid of illegal power connections in Mamelodi on Friday.
“The multi-disciplinary operation is taking place in extension 1 and 17 in Mamelodi East. This follows the rampant power interruptions caused by illegal connections from occupants of Mountain View informal settlement,” the city said in a statement.
“The unlawful connections have been a bone of contention between formal home owners from extension 1 and nearby informal settlement occupants for a period of time, resulting in clashes between the two communities.”
Clashes broke out in June between Mahube Valley home owners and nearby informal settlement residents over electricity issues, with several houses set alight. Home owners blamed the shack dwellers for constant power cuts due to illegal power connections, prompting Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga to opt for the construction of a wall to divide the two opposing sides.
Msimanga has since backtracked on building the wall following an outcry from the public, who compared his proposal to the apartheid-era Group Areas Act.