Monday, 6 December 2021: Electricity supply to Diepkloof Zone 3 was disconnected due to high energy losses as a result of illegal connections, meter bypassing and customers buying electricity from ghost vendors.
Network audits are a standard Eskom process to manage energy losses and improve revenue collection in all its areas of supply across Gauteng. During this process, illegal connections are removed, the network is secured, any damages to the infrastructure is repaired and reconnection fees are issued to customers found to be in contravention as is the case with Diepkloof Zone 3. Around 700 customers were disconnected and issued with a reconnection fee of R6052.52 for non-payment of electricity. Supply will then be restored once the reconnection fees have been settled.
In the past eight months, Eskom has lost revenue of approximately R96 million in the area of Diepkloof alone, where customers’ buying trends are dismally low since their conversion from post-paid to prepaid meters; which were installed to assist them to take better control of their electricity consumption. The graphs below show the revenue lost from eight transformers supplying electricity to Diepkloof Zone 3.
Eskom Gauteng management and the City of Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor, Dr Mpho Phalatse met on Monday, 6 December 2021, with the aim of establishing working relations with the newly-elected Mayor and to provide an overview of the electricity profile, electrification projects, the increase of theft and vandalism of Eskom’s infrastructure, challenges experienced by the power utility, and Diepkloof was one of the discussion points. Eskom and the City have committed to work together to develop strategies to curb the criminal acts resulting in loss of revenue for Eskom and endangering the lives of innocent people. “We want to ensure that we service the basic needs of the City of Johannesburg residents; electricity being one of them. However, we need communities to partner with us as we work on strategies to ensure that we provide reliable electricity and root out the theft and vandalism that are on the increase in Johannesburg. We urge the customers that are paying for electricity to work with us to expose those who are not paying, and also call out those who continue to steal electricity from Eskom. Not paying for electricity is theft,” said Dr Mpho Phalatse, City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor.
Eskom encourages indigent customers to register for free basic electricity (FBE) with their respective municipalities and take full advantage of the support programme to cushion their limitations. We urge all customers who have been advised by their respective municipalities that they do qualify for the FBE benefit, to make use of it as we have noted that only 50% of those that qualify, are making use of it.