South Africa: Eskom Restores Power to Some Gauteng Areas

Eskom has restored power supply to some parts of Gauteng where communities have allowed its technicians safe access to conduct their work.

On Monday, the power utility said it had restored power to certain areas in Gauteng after conducting audits, removing illegal connections, disconnecting non-paying customers and issuing fines.

This as Eskom, ward councillors and community leaders collaborated in working with the affected communities to resume operations without incident.

The power utility said it is pleased to announce that power was restored in some parts of Ivory Park, Diepsloot ext 10 and Braamfischer, subsequent to successful audit processes being carried out.

The Senior Manager for Operations and Maintenance in the Gauteng Operating Unit, Motlhabane Ramashi, said the power utility is of the view that it can build on the current successes experienced in areas like Ivory Park.

"We are of the view that we can build more successes in other areas emulating from these pockets of excellence. Furthermore, customers are now metered, they buy tokens from Eskom's authorised outlets, and we have seen some improvements in the buying patterns and the tamper fine payments are also on the increase and this is encouraging," said Ramashi.

The power utility said it will continue to constantly monitor the infrastructure and electricity payment trends in an effort to promote a culture of paying for electricity services.

"On the other hand, we will continue to restore supply in areas where the community grants us access to perform our duties to alleviate the network overloading and ensure quality supply of electricity to paying customers."

Eskom said it will engage with communities in areas with overloading network as a result of illegal connections and bypassed meters. This is a proactive measure to conduct audits in order to avoid more equipment failure.

Last week, the utility announced that it was working with the Gauteng government to resolve electricity problems in the province.

The utility had reported that there were increasing incidents of illegal connections leading to overloading, which often results in failure of transformers and mini-substations. This includes meter tampering, electricity theft and vandalism of infrastructure.

The power utility has repeatedly 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 rise.

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