WITH reference to the letter, "Life tough without electricity" (October 10), it is indeed difficult for us who enjoy the benefit of electricity to imagine a life without it and those who, like the writer, battle daily without essential services in informal settlements have our deepest sympathies.
However, the harsh reality is that there is no excuse or justification for crime. The risks and consequences of crimes such as electricity theft far outweigh any of the short-term benefits.
While illegal connections may bring benefits such as the ability to heat water for a cup of coffee, iron a shirt, etc, they also bring other more unwelcome consequences, such as the more than R5-billion losses they cost South Africa each year. This is a financial burden our country cannot afford to sustain and it's money that could be used to speed up processes such as the national electrification and other development projects.
One of the saddest effects of electricity theft is the many deaths and injuries it causes every year, most of these to innocent young children. These children are electrocuted when they come into contact with electrical wires from illegal connections strung across tables, fences, streets and in trees.
While it may appear to be tempting and even justifiable to resort to illegal means such as electricity theft, it is not. There is always a choice and Operation Khanyisa calls upon all South Africans to take a stand against this serious crime.
Talk to your ward councillor. Find out what the options are for your area if you do not yet have access to the national grid.
If your area is not yet a proclaimed township, this can cause further delays. This still does not justify crime.
Maboe Maphaka, Eskom senior manager, energy trading and sales forecasting