14th Jul 2020 8:30:04 AM

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Children of Fire Electrical Safety

In July 2011, a large part of Joe Slovo squatter camp in Coronationville burned down. The fire was allegedly attributed to illegal electrical connections.
In September 2011 Children of Fire invited City Power to address Emang Slovo, the non-political residents association in the squatter camp, about how the illegal activities of some people are endangering the lives and property of other people.

Because of the noise of generators it is easy to determine at night which shebeens have illegal connections, because they have electric light but no generator is on e.g. that run by Aaron Rambuda (know as Majapere).
Electricity is especially dangerous for people who have never learned about it at school and who have not grown up with this source of heat or light available to them. Children of Fire also asked Brixton SAPS to find an honest (unbribe-able) plain clothes black officer to investigate the matter, so that he could move in the squatter camp without drawing attention to himself.

In April 2002, for the first time, the South African Department of Labour started carrying a series of informative safety advertisements in newspapers. Electricity is a common cause of burns, particularly with people getting electricity for the first time in their homes and not being fully aware of the dangers. Illegal tapping of electricty is lethal yet common.

Many conventional houses have false electrical compliance certificates and many also do not have an electrical earth. Scientific education in the general population is poor and people have little understanding of the dangers of overloading sockets, cutting grass with an electrical mower in the rain... or even taking an extension cable with a light on, into an outside shower!

New Electrical Inspection Authorities have been approved to investigate alleged non-compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, and also in terms of Electrical Machinery Regulation Number 12. Section 38 (e) of the Act prohibits interference with an inspector in his/her duties.

The Approved Electrical Inspection Authorities can be contacted on:

 Johannesburg:  011 435 2030
 Cape Town:  021 987 3010
 Durban:  031 205 3641
 Pretoria:  012 379 3666
 Port Elizabeth:  041 364 2868
 Klerksdorp:  018 468 8462
 Welkom:  057 353 2289

The Department of Labour in Pretoria is on: 012 309 4384 / 4392 / 4394.

This material is Copyright The Dorah Mokoena Charitable Trust and/or Children of Fire , 1998-2020.
Distribution or re-transmission of this material, excluding the Schools' Guide, is expressly forbidden without prior permission of the Trust.
For further information, email firechildren@icon.co.za