Shacks to be moved from power lines

Photo: Rekord North.

Alternative land would be sought for the shack dwellers.

Residents living under power lines in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria will soon be given another area to build their shacks following safety concerns.

Ward councillor Naomi Kataka said plans were at an advanced stage to furnish the affected residents with land, Rekord North reported.

The residents of Zone 14 in Soshanguve South were living in danger of being electrocuted as their shacks were situated below power lines. This prompted Tshwane MMC for public works and infrastructure development Jacob Masango to visit the area.

“The MMC met the residents and tried to understand how many people were actually affected,” said Kataka.

She said the MMC promised the residents alternative land would be sought for them.

“A total of 51 families are affected. The residents asked that they not be moved far away from the land that they had occupied,” said Kataka.

“There was a general consensus that they have placed their lives in danger by building shacks under high voltage power lines. We all agreed that it is too risky. Those affected should be moved. And we all want to see this process happening fast.”

Kataka said the relocation would get underway soon after the Easter holidays.

One of the residents, Michael Mokoena, recently blamed the local residents committee for telling them to build their houses under the power lines.

Mokoena said strong winds increased the chances of lines snapping.

“We followed orders from our leaders who were allocating stands. And because we needed a place to stay, we didn’t ask many questions,” said Mokoena.

Eskom spokesperson Eone de Villiers said people who built houses or dwellings directly under power lines were not only breaking the law, but were putting themselves and their families at risk as the lines were not insulated and carried power of a very high voltage.

Eskom appealed to the public to stop building houses or dwellings under power lines.

– Caxton News Service

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