Shock at houses built under power lines

PHOTO: Andre Beetge

Residents are urged not to build houses under electricity lines after an Amanzimtoti councillor noticed this taking place locally.

“While following up on a wastewater fallout into the Little Amanzimtoti River several weeks ago, I came across houses being built right under the high voltage power lines,” said ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge.

“This is in contravention of the city and Eskom’s policy, for various and obvious reasons.”

According to the city’s acting head of the electricity unit, Maxwell Mthembu, people living under the lines are in danger of being electrocuted should the cables fall and land on homes.

Strong winds can increase the chances of line breaks.

READ ALSO: Ward councillor profile

“This, however is being largely ignored by traditional leadership in the allocation of land and those who build without plans or zoning certificates, as the land effectively falls within the tenets of the Ingonyama Trust,” said Cllr Beetge.

He introduced the problem as a matter for discussion on the municipal committee agenda, following which citywide awareness initiatives are now being launched, including an education campaign to educate residents about the dangers.

READ ALSO: Query city bill errors with eThekwini directly

“Those who build houses directly under power lines are not only breaking the law, but are putting themselves at serious risk as these lines carry power of a very high voltage,” said Mthembu.

He said if a power line falls onto a corrugated roof, the roof becomes live. In the event of natural disasters such as lightning, storms and strong winds, the chances of lines breaking are increased, thereby increasing the risk of injury. The city strongly appeals to residents to refrain from building houses underneath power lines.

Officials will visit various communities to engage with public on the dangers of building under power lines and illegal electricity connections.

 

 

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  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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