Electricity-theft-meter-tampering-1-photo-by-Eskom
Meter tampering in informal settlements is done to avoid the payment of electricity. Pic credit: Eskom

On Wednesday, Eskom announced that hundreds of illegal connections were identified and removed in Pienaarspoort, Tshwane last week.

Approximately 2,000 meters of illegally connected conductor cable was removed following complaints from members of the public about the dangerous wires that were running everywhere in the settlement. Read more…

Illegal connections, a real danger

The parastatal noted that illegal connections injure and kill many people every year, while countless others are severely injured from electrocution.

“People often think electricity theft is a victimless crime. We only realise the high price of this crime when we lose loved ones, often young children, who are killed from electrocution when they accidentally come into contact with live electricity wires from illegal connections,” said Dileep John, Head of Operation Khanyisa at Eskom.

“It is, therefore, our civic duty as the public to refrain from using illegal means of getting electricity and to report those who are involved in this crime,” he said.

Unplanned outages

Not only are illegal connections highly dangerous but they are also the leading cause of unplanned power outages.

“The network overloads because it is carrying more users than what it was designed for.

“Furthermore‚ customers who are not paying for electricity tend to be wasteful in the way they use it‚” John explained.

Eskom installs circuit breakers that switch off when the load reaches dangerous levels‚ which prevents the transformers from exploding.

However, sometimes residents bypass these safety features and the transformers eventually explode, the utility explained in a statement. Read more…

“Not only is this dangerous‚ but these transformers can take hours or even days to repair. Unfortunately, this affects and inconveniences the paying customers as well.

“It is, therefore, to everyone’s benefit that we stand together as Eskom and the community to fight and win the battle against electricity theft,” John concluded.

 

Featured image: Eskom