Wednesday, 10 August 2022: August is Electricity Safety Month, and as such, Eskom is stepping up communication about the safe use of electricity across the country, in an effort to stem the increasing number of public injuries and fatalities related to electricity.
“In recent years, we have seen an increase in illegal connections, which has unfortunately been accompanied by an increase in electrocutions. This demonstrates that electricity safety is not the top priority for many South Africans. We hope that South Africans will recognise that individual actions can have a significant impact on entire communities. Many families have lost loved ones as a result of illegal connections,” says Senior Manager for Occupational Health and Safety at Eskom, Miranda Moahlodi.
“By far the most incidents over the past year have been linked to illegal connections and other direct contacts with electricity. Criminality is also on the increase, with a rising number of infrastructure vandalism cases, theft of electricity cables and attacks on Eskom security guards at our substations,” says Moahlodi.
Electricity Safety Month is a month that we dedicate to raising awareness about the safe use of electricity. If we had our way, every month would be electricity safety month! But by committing 31 days once a year, we aim to clearly place electrical safety in the limelight and forefront of peoples’ minds to assist in meeting our objective of ensuring zero harm to members of the public, employees, and contractors.
The main risks associated with illegal connections are that the illegal wires are usually not connected to an earth leakage unit or other electrical protection that will “trip” or break the current if someone touches a live wire. The insulation around these live wires is usually insufficient to protect those who get into contact with wires. When this is combined with the lack of earth leakage, it creates a very dangerous – and often fatal – situation, and many people are shocked or killed as a result every year.
“Communities also feel the need to protect the connections that are made illegally, and when they see Eskom vehicles entering their neighbourhoods, they attack or intimidate our employees. We understand that cutting illegal connections may appear harsh, but it is absolutely necessary. Ultimately, we all want the same thing – a South Africa that works for all its citizens. We cannot be working against each other. We appeal to communities to help us curb the aggression and violence directed at Eskom employees. At the end of the day, we also have families who are waiting for us at home after a day at work like everyone else,” pleads Moahlodi.
Remember to help by reporting any illegal connections, exposed wires or any electrical wiring that appears dangerous to Eskom or your local municipality. By doing this, you would have saved the life of a child or any person who was not aware of these dangers. Let us be each other’s keepers by always practicing electrical safety. People are urged to keep an eye on Eskom’s official social media pages and website for more information.
For media enquiries, please contact: Miranda Moahlodi
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 083 664 7627