The South African Police Service (SAPS) is currently safeguarding officials of the Tshwane Metro who are removing illegal power connections in Sunway, a low-cost housing development in Hartbeespoort, North West. This comes after AfriForum put constant pressure on the Madibeng Municipality and the SAPS to bring an end to the problem.
Violent protests erupted earlier this week when hundreds of Sunway residents barricaded Van der Hoff Street with branches, rocks and burning tyres, after finding out that officials of the Tshwane Metro were on their way to remove their illegal power connections.
At least seven transformers of the Metro already blew up, and a child was allegedly shocked by an open power cable. AfriForum has also learnt that people were even shocked in their bath water due to the illegal connections.
Neighbouring land owners have been without power for over a month as a result of damage to infrastructure.
The local police were initially ready to assist Tshwane Metro officials, but then Acting Provincial Police Commissioner, Major General Jacob Tsumane, decided to refer the matter to the Mayor of the Tshwane Metro and Madibeng respectively.
“We have warned that we’ll test Gen Tsumane’s decision – to refer his constitutional duties to politicians – in court, if he did not attend to the request of the community and the Tshwane Metro with the necessary urgency. Brigadier Marks informed me on Monday that the operation will be executed today. It’s a victory for AfriForum and the community,” Pieter Rautenbach, General Advisor of Community Structures at AfriForum, said.