The major problem areas in South Africa for illegal electricity connections are the Eastern Cape‚ Gauteng‚ KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces.
Eskom is highlighting the danger of these connections this week‚ with a roadshow to key areas in a bid to encourage the community to steer clear of dodgy power.
“Public fatalities and injuries due to the unsafe use of electricity remains a major problem. The majority of these incidents are related to contact made with electricity and illegal connections. Most disturbing is the fact that many of those killed or injured were children‚” the energy utility said in a statement‚ ahead of a visit by Eskom officials to the Zandspruit informal settlement near Honeydew‚ Johannesburg‚ on Monday.
From today until Sunday‚ Eskom officials will be visiting various parts of the country to engage with the public and highlight the dangers associated with the unsafe use of electricity.
The aim is to make communities aware of the basics of safe electricity usage and the risks associated with electricity theft‚ meter tampering‚ bypassing and illegal connections.
The power utility wants people to know how to identify the dangers and what to do if or when they spot them.
“We occasionally get reports of people being injured or losing their lives as a result of the unsafe use of electricity. As Eskom‚ we want to get to a point where we eliminate all injuries and fatalities caused by electricity‚ hence we are going to the communities to ask them to help us in this fight. We are aware of the biggest causes of these incidents and would like to appeal to our consumers to assist us by avoiding connecting illegally or making contact with low-hanging cables‚” said Jace Naidoo‚ Corporate Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Senior Manager at Eskom.
Through this campaign‚ Eskom also seeks to encourage all community members to report any unsafe conditions or connections they come across by calling 08600 ESKOM (37566). This includes any cases of dangerously exposed or low hanging cables‚ illegal connections‚ vandalism and cable theft.
“In the case of illegal connections‚ danger is posed not only to the people who connect to the Eskom network illegally‚ but also to the rest of their communities. Moreover‚ the illegal connections draw more electricity from the network than anticipated‚ which causes power failures and inconveniences to law abiding paying customers‚” Naidoo said.
Source: Times Live