Eskom to restrict power supply to areas where illegal connections are common
Power utility Eskom has announced that it will restrict power to parts of Gauteng where illegal connections and other forms of electricity theft are common.
"The power utility continues to record a substantially high trend of energy demand during peak periods between 5am and 9am and between 5pm and 8pm," Eskom said.
The utility said its immediate response was to safeguard its assets from repeated failure and explosions as a result of overloading caused by illegal connections, meter bypasses and tampering with electricity infrastructure that are on the increase.
“It is prudent for us to take deliberate measures to significantly reduce the extremely high costs associated with repeated equipment failure resulting from overloading, which costs more as the power is indiscriminately used during peak periods. This unprecedented measure is necessary to contain the situation.
"We deem the constant repairs and replacement of equipment that fails before we can realise their investment as unwarranted, and this will not sustain our operations should we continue in this trajectory. This is in line with our priorities of containing operational costs and improving plant performance,” said Motlhabane Ramashi, senior manager for maintenance and operations in the Gauteng operating unit.
The restrictions, Eskom said, would be implemented on a rotational basis to curb rising costs.
"High density areas of Gauteng that are prone to illegal connections, overloading, meter tampering and all other electricity theft" would be affected, Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said.
Eskom said it would continue conducting audits, remove illegal connections and act against meter tampering, as well as impose penalties for any transgressions.
"We will carry on to partner and collaborate with the affected communities and stakeholders to ensure that electricity is delivered to all customers, as we are of the view that electricity remains an essential service”, Ramashi said.