The Gauteng Provincial Government and Eskom agreed to implement joint action to decisively deal with the problems of ongoing disruptions in the supply of electricity in a number of areas in the province.
The Gauteng Provincial Government, led by the Special Advisor to the Premier on Service Delivery and Political Management, Eric Mxolisi Xayiya, met with Eskom Management this week to discuss the ongoing problems regarding the increasing number of repeated equipment failures in some areas around Gauteng.
Eskom reported that there are increasing incidences of illegal connections leading to overloading which often result in failure of transformers and mini-substations.
This includes meter tampering, electricity theft and vandalism of infrastructure.
The power utility noted that increased equipment failure has a significant negative impact on operations, finances and safety of employees and the public at large.
“The Gauteng Government and Eskom acknowledge that consumers who continue to pay for electricity cannot continue to suffer due to the actions of those who are not paying. Continued non-payment of electricity and illegal connections harm the economy of the province and the country,” Eskom underlined in a statement.
According to Eskom, attempts to restore power supply to areas that have experienced repeated failures due to illegal connections and meter tampering are being hampered by violent resistance in the affected communities.
Eskom technicians are often denied access to affected areas to conduct audits and necessary repairs to damaged equipment.
To this end, the Gauteng Provincial Government will enlist the support of law enforcement agencies to ensure that Eskom restores electricity supply to legal and paying customers in all the affected areas in the province.
A company statement said: “The police will act firmly and decisively against anyone obstructing Eskom from carrying out its work.
“Eskom will conduct audits and remove illegal connections, fix bypassed meters, issue tamper fines and ultimately restore electricity supply to paying customers.”
The Gauteng Government and Eskom will continue to engage with councillors and stakeholders in all affected areas to address all matters pertaining to the supply of electricity.