Tuesday, 06 September 2022: Eskom Distribution, in partnership with Jozini Local Municipality, launches the Community Co-operatives programme at the Jaba Jaba Sports Ground in Jozini today. The programme aims to create awareness about the impact of electricity theft and infrastructure vandalism and to enable collaborative partnerships with communities to find solutions that will lead to reduction of these problems. Jozini is one of the pilot sites that have been selected because of a high rate of non-buying customers.
“It is to everyone’s benefit if Eskom, municipalities and communities work together to fight and win the battle against infrastructure theft and vandalism, electricity theft and purchasing electricity from illegal electricity prepaid vendors (Ghost vendors),” said Eskom Distribution Group Executive, Monde Bala.
Illegal connections and electricity theft lead to network overloading and equipment failure. Electricity theft puts Eskom’s infrastructure under immense pressure and in some cases results in explosion of transformers. Illegal connections also pose a danger to the community, particularly innocent children and animals while also affecting businesses, schools, hospitals, public transport, and the provision of basic services. Illegal connections inconvenience legal and paying customers as well.
“Illegal connections, vandalism of infrastructure and Illegal vending are criminal acts which pose a huge threat to reliable electricity supply. It results in widespread unplanned power outages, which leave a negative impact on the economy, society, as well as on Eskom’s already burdened financial situation. We urge customers to pay for the electricity they use, which will enable us to maintain and build new infrastructure,” said Agnes Mlambo, the General Manager for CentralEast Cluster (KZN and Free State).
“We are aware that electricity infrastructure theft and vandalism negatively affect businesses and the community at large. We need more businesses to invest in our area, but they will not do so if there is no reliable power due to unplanned outages caused by illegal connections and vandalism. Therefore, let us as the community of Jozini Local Municipality, stand together with Eskom and say no to such criminal activities. This initiative will only succeed if we work together,” said Mayor of Jozini Local Municipality, Mfananaye Mathe.
Communities are requested to report theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure and illegal connections to authorities or to the Eskom’s crime line at 0800 112 722.
Eskom continues to work with law enforcement agencies to curb the criminal activities including electricity theft.
Eskom can be contacted using the MyEskom Customer App (downloadable on Google Play Store for Android devices and iPhone App Store for iPhones), Alfred the Chatbot (alfred.eskom.co.za/chatroom/), CSonline (https://csonline.eskom.co.za/) and contact centre on 08600 37566.