KAMHLUSHWA – Electricity and infrastructure theft remain big problems throughout Nkomazi. Illegal electricity connections and other electricity theft not only cost SA about R20 billion per year, but can also result in serious injuries.
Tebogo Rakau, Eskom’s divisional executive for security, explained that illegal connections pose a danger to the whole community as exposed wires can harm or even kill children and animals wandering the area.
“Illegal connections are also the leading cause of unplanned power outages. The network overloads and trips 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‚” he said.
Some illegal electricity users tend to leave their lights burning 24/7 or have an excessive amount of outside lights. Corridor Gazette has received complaints about practices such as these and has witnessed it first-hand in various areas around Nkomazi.
“Eskom installs circuit breakers that switch off when the load reaches dangerous levels‚ which prevents the transformers from exploding. But sometimes residents bypass these safety features and the transformers eventually explode. Not only is this dangerous‚ but these transformers can take hours or even days to repair. Unfortunately, this affects and inconveniences legal and paying customers as well,” Rakau said.
He urged businesses and individuals to help curb illegal electricity connections, infrastructure theft and vandalism by reporting it anonymously via Eskom’s Crime Line on 32211 (R1/SMS) or 0800-11-2722.
The aforementioned crimes can not only lead to electrocutions, fires and power outages, but also job losses and an increase in prices.
Any unsafe or illegal power connections can be reported on 0800-37566.