State-owned power utility Eskom says it is experiencing an increase in electricity theft, especially in high-density areas, which leads to the failure of its equipment.
Eskom warns against illegal connections, meter tampering and buying electricity from illegal syndicates, stating that this leads to distribution network overloading and damage to Eskom’s infrastructure.
This contributes to transformer explosions and other infrastructure being damaged, which costs Eskom billions of rands in revenue every year.
“We appeal to all our customers to do the right thing. They must pay for the electricity they are using, ensure that they buy electricity vouchers from legal vendors and stop by-passing and tampering with their meters,” says Eskom Distribution group executive Monde Bala.
In the event where Eskom’s assets are damaged or vandalised owing to illegal connections, for the safety of the network and the public, Eskom will only replace the transformer once the illegal connections have been removed.
Household meters also have to be audited to ensure that it is safe to reconnect, Bala notes, reiterating that Eskom continues to work with law enforcement agencies to curb criminal activities, including electricity theft.