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Three arrested for transformer theft in Diepsloot
Friday, 22 May 2020:  Three male members of the public were arrested on Thursday, 21 May 2020 for the alleged theft of 10 Eskom transformers valued at approximately R500 000, and for tampering with the network infrastructure in Diepsloot extension 13.  Cables and poles suspected to belong to City Power were also recovered at the scene.  Eskom security personnel acted on a tip off where it was discovered that an illegal construction of about one kilometre of 11kV overhead power lines were supplying informal settlements in the area. The suspects, who are members of the Diepsloot community, were subsequently arrested by the South African Police Services (SAPS)
 
“These arrests followed an extensive investigation through the collaboration of Eskom and the SAPS. This is part of an ongoing sting operation as one of the multipronged approaches to deal with any criminality that seeks to undermine Eskom’s efforts to supply electricity. We have recently implemented a rotational load reduction initiative in identified areas or networks that are regularly overloaded, and Diepsloot is one such area.  The load reductions are aimed at protecting Eskom’s assets from repeated failure and explosions, as well as curbing the rising costs that are a result of frequent equipment failures,” said Motlhabane Ramashi, the Senior Manager for Maintenance and Operations in Gauteng. The exponential increase in energy demand occurs during peak hours in the mornings and evenings due to the network overloads which cause failure of equipment and explosions. These are a result of illegal connections, meter bypasses and tampering with the electricity infrastructure in areas with high-population density and multiple and/or backyard dwellings.   
 
“We would like to commend members of the public for their active citizenry by taking a stand against illegal activities that interfere with the security of supply and also compromise public safety due to exposure to unprotected electricity infrastructure.  Eskom is determined to safeguard and protects its assets during the lockdown period to ensure provision of service to residents and other essential services”, Ramashi concluded.
 
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