Tuesday, 24 May 2022: Eskom Distribution, in partnership with Mnquma Local Municipality, launched the Community Co-operatives programme at the Msobomvu Sports Ground in Butterworth 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 electricity theft and infrastructure vandalism. Butterworth is one of the pilot sites that have been selected because of a high rate of non-buying customers. Information on the Ibika-4 Way Ring 1 11kV Overhead Feeder shows a high rate of electricity theft (75%) and 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.
As the temperatures are decreasing now towards winter, Eskom experiences an increase in illegal connections and electricity theft leading to network overloading and equipment failure. Electricity theft puts Eskom’s infrastructure under immense pressure and in some cases resulting in explosion of transformers. Illegal connections 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 are also an inconvenience to legal and paying customers.
“We appeal to all our customers to 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. Illegal connections and Eskom infrastructure vandalism is amongst the leading causes of unplanned power outages,” said Acting Cape Coastal General Manager, Mbulelo Yedwa.
“We have seen how power outages caused by electricity infrastructure theft and vandalism negatively affect businesses and the community at large. It is now up to us as the community of Mnquma Local Municipality to say enough is enough and work with Eskom to stop the criminal activities. It is through working together that we will derive maximum benefits from this initiative,” said Executive Mayor of Mnquma Local Municipality, Cllr Tunyiswa Manxila-Nkamisa.
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 in various ways e.g. by using 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.