The George municipality in the Western Cape was forced to cut power to the Dube area after a three year old was electrocuted earlier this week.
The three year old toddler died on Wednesday after being electrocuted due to an illegal power connection.
The municipality reported that the little girl had touched a wire running from a homemade electricity distribution box which was put together in an illegal, primitive and unsafe way.
Following this incident, the municipality was forced to switch off the power supply as it inspected the area for other illegal connections.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act states that the municipality has a responsibility to maintain a safe electrical network and may therefore not reinstate power unless all illegal connections on the line have been cleared.
The municipality’s acting director of electrotechnical services, Paul Gerber said that when necessary, the municipality appoints contractors to remove illegal connections and power is restored once all lines have been inspected and confirmed clear of any illegal connections.
The child was the fourth person to die from an illegal electricity connection in the area since the start of the year. The three other victims include two adults and another child.
Gerber extended condolences to the child’s family and called for communities to stay away from illegal electricity connections.
He added that children are especially vulnerable to illegal connections as they are curious and likely to explore and dig out electricity lines or try to open up rigged boxes and interesting-looking wires.
The municipality investigated the incident and submitted a report to the labour department. An inquest docket was also opened with the police.
The municipality, Eskom and the Western Cape government continue to educate and raise awareness regarding the dangers of illegal connections and other unsafe electricity-related practices.
Gerber appealed to residents to put the safety of the lives of their loved ones first and to discourage others from such dangerous practices. He added that entire communities can be affected by just one illegal connection. Everyone in an illegal connection zone is unsafe.
More: The Sowetan