Durban – FUNERAL arrangements are being made for a 5-year-old girl who died after coming into contact with live wires at an informal settlement in Durban.
Amahle Jojisa died at the Raffia Road informal settlement in Chatsworth after stepping on a live wire on the road at the weekend, said police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele.
She was electrocuted.
Her mother, Bawanile Jojisa, was still in a state of shock and mourning her child’s loss yesterday.
She said they were planning to have the funeral in Harding.
The shacks at the Raffia Road settlement are an extension of the Bottlebrush informal settlement. Illegal connections began springing up when the settlement expanded to reach formal homes on Raffia Road and Blue Bonnet Crescent.
The Daily News reported on the illegal connections made from a mini-substation on Blue Bonnet Crescent in October 2017. At the time, residents from the formal and informal houses clashed over the illegal connections. Formal residents complained of frequent outages because of the system being overloaded by illegal connections.
eThekwini councillor Kanagie Pillay said the community had been dealing with the issue of illegal connections over a period of time.
“Illegal connections are a serious criminal offence. Many lives are endangered. Sadly, innocent Amahle had to be prey to this major problem. Our communities need to be aware of these types of issues so that we can put a stop to losing our precious children,” she said.
Pillay said criminal elements had recently vandalised a church which they claimed was using illegal electricity connections. The church is housed in a shack alongside Raffia Road.
“This question was raised in council meetings. The city doesn’t have a record of how many children were electrocuted due to illegal connections. One child’s death is one too many. The loss of a child to any mother is such a tragedy,” she said.
eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the electrification of informal settlements was one of the city’s main projects. He said the city disconnects and removes illegal connections on a regular basis.
Ward councillor Previn Vedan said shacks in the Bottlebrush informal settlement were beginning to receive electricity meter boxes.
Chatsworth police are investigating the circumstances around the incident.
Non-profit organisation Survival Centre spokesperson Reverend Ethan Ramkuar said he had raised nearly R3000 yesterday to help the bereaved family give the girl a dignified funeral.
“The family are destitute and need assistance,” he said.