Eskom announced it has embarked on the Electricity Safety Month initiative as part of the power utility’s national campaign.
Stakeholder and media relations officer of Eskom Ronel Kotze said the campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the safe use of electricity.
“It further encourages families and communities to stop unsafe electricity practices.”
Kotze explained in Gauteng, Eskom has noted with concern an increase in unauthorised operations on their network infrastructure, as well as illegal connections in high-density areas with multiple households per stand.
“These practices are most prevalent in areas such as Cosmo City, Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Orange Farm, Sebokeng and Soweto, among others. Since lockdown started, the province has seen a surge in injuries resulting from contact with electricity caused by illegal connections.”
She added to date there have been nine fatalities reported this year due to contact with electricity, compared to four fatalities in the previous year.
“Eskom has intensified its efforts to curb illegal electricity activities, which are not only dangerous, but also result in fatalities.
“Arrests have been made and members of the community are urged to refrain from engaging in the unsafe use of electricity.”
The media relations officer said Eskom subscribes to life-saving rules and values, one of which is zero harm.
“During this month, the power utility encourages communities to use electricity in a manner that will not bring any harm to them, such as not overloading the network as this may lead to explosions and injuries or fatalities. As part of ensuring public safety and also relieving the network of unwarranted strain, Eskom removes illegal connections and pleads with communities to uphold all safety standards to ensure maximum and continued safety for themselves and their loved ones.”