South Africa: Eskom, GP Government Work to Resolve Electricity Challenges

Eskom and the Gauteng government have agreed to collaborate to resolve electricity problems in the province.

"The Gauteng Provincial Government and Eskom have 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," said the power utility on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Special Advisor to the Premier on service delivery and political management, Eric Xayiya, met with Eskom top management to discuss the ongoing problems regarding the increasing number of repeated equipment failures in some areas around Gauteng.

Eskom has reported that there are increasing incidents 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.

Eskom emphasised 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," it said.

It added that its 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."

The power utility added that the Gauteng provincial government will enlist the support of law enforcement agencies to ensure that the power utility restores electricity supply to legal and paying customers in all the affected areas in the province.

"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," said Eskom.

Meanwhile, the provincial 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.

Last week Eskom appealed to communities to stop illegal connections as it continues to experience an increasing number of repeated equipment failures in most areas.

Last month, Eskom issued a notice saying that is has been forced to halt work on substation repairs as well as maintenance operations in Gauteng. This was due to safety concerns of staff and debt that is on the increase.

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