The people of Daveyton (in the East Rand of Gauteng) are worried about the illegal connections that are happening in the informal settlement called Blomanathi (‘Stay with us’). The informal settlement is inside a newly formed township called Chris Hani. This community of Blomanathi was formed a few years ago, when people were taken out of their houses in Mayfield.
The people of Blomanathi stayed in the Mayfield Extension area when there was no electricity and water for more than five years. Then things started looking up when they started to have access water. This happened after the community had peaceful marches to address the issue of service delivery and slowly but surely the services got there.
“We had strong leadership that was leading us in the right direction. We did everything peacefully until our leaders went behind our backs and sold our house to strangers,” said Thabo Mootledi.
The citizens had to move out and restart their lives again in the shacks. That was when they came up with the idea of calling the area Blomanathi because they allowed everyone to come stay with them in their newly established squatter camp.
But now the problem is that the residents feel peaceful actions no longer produces the results they need. They started by going to the nearest school, HB Nyathi Secondary School, to get their water. They opened a hole in the fence of the school so they could get in anytime.
But the lives of the people in the area are in danger because of the illegal connections they use for electricity. They are illegally connected to areas that have electricity and they get the electricity from the transformers. These connections are everywhere and the kids might play with them nor mistakenly step on them, which would mean trouble. Also, if one shack catches fire due to connection problems the others will also catch fire.
The community of Daveyton would like the government to intervene and provide proper services to communities because now a lot of the areas are being affected by this.
This article was submitted on 16 August 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article (https://karibu.org.za/blomanathi-informal-settlement-forced-to-resort-to-illegal-electricity-connections-for-power/).