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Eskom calls for community help to combat theft, vandalism of its assets

10th January 2022

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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State-owned power utility Eskom requests that community members play an active role in preventing criminal activities and minimise vandalism of its assets.

Eskom continues to experience high incidents of theft and vandalism of its distribution infrastructure around the country. The perpetrators vandalise and steal transformers and copper cables and bypass meter boxes, substations, control rooms and security fences, impacting on the security of supply.

“Eskom is embarking on a vigorous communication campaign to create awareness about the impact of electricity infrastructure vandalism on the security of supply to the communities, and the dangers of illegal connections to community members, in particular the younger generation.

“The campaign is set to initially target the identified areas where vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure is very prevalent, however, will also be extended nationally early in 2022,” the utility says.

Network overloading that is exacerbated by illegal connections, meter bypasses, cable theft and vandalism of critical essential infrastructure leaves communities without power for extended hours inconveniencing businesses and households around the affected areas.

Eskom technicians, as part of their daily activities around the country, remove illegal connections and fine transgressors.

“Unfortunately, these are immediately replaced as soon as they leave. That is why community involvement is key to solving this problem. Community members can blow the whistle on destruction of infrastructure used for service delivery. This vandalism affects everyone because it affects electricity supply in the area.

“Vandalising Eskom’s assets is a criminal act that leads to financial loss for Eskom and community members. We need involvement of communities and community structures to help us fight the scourge of electricity theft by reporting theft and vandalism,” says Eskom Distribution Group executive Monde Bala.

Eskom invites members of the public to report criminal activities by reporting illegal connections, theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure to the toll-free Eskom crime line number 0800 112 722 or at the nearest police station.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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