Illegal Electricity Connections Could Lead To A Dark Christmas, Even For The Innocent, Says Eskom

As country moves closer to the peak of the festive season, Eskom has called on local communities to take a stand against the installation of illegal connections in their areas.
Speaking on the negative impact of the damage caused by illegal connections, Eskom Western Cape spokesperson Kyle Cookson said illegal connections not only result in electricity outages and economic challenges but also endanger lives.
“Illegal connections, cable theft and vandalism in parts of greater Cape Town have not only left communities without electricity for prolonged periods but has often caused the public to take to the streets in protest to voice their frustration.
“However, despite Eskom’s commitment to secure its network to ensure continuity of electricity supply to all of its customers, illegal connections, which are essentially criminal activities, have meant delays in restoration efforts and cost Eskom in the Western Cape millions of rand.”
Illegal connections, cable theft and vandalism were most prevalent in Atlantis, Mfuleni, Bloekombos, Blue Downs, Crossroads, Delft, Driftsands, Du Noon, Khayelitsha, Nomzamo in Somerset West, Marikana in Philippi, Wallacedene, and Witsand.
“The saddest part is that often the people, especially children or toddlers who have nothing to do with these illegal connections, are seriously injured or killed. It is important to understand that seriously injured means that people are badly burnt or lose part of an arm or a leg, or even the entire limb,” Cookson said.
During the last six months, more than 100 Eskom kiosks were vandalised in Blackheath, Blue Downs, Eerste River and Elsies River.
While the damage placed immense strain on the electricity network, Eskom says it will also cost about R6 million in repairs.
“Eskom cannot fight this battle alone. We need to work together as communities, services providers and law enforcement agencies in the fight against electricity-related crimes.
“Residents should take ownership of their electricity supply and support Eskom in its mandate to keep the lights on by providing information that can root out criminals who are responsible for the destruction of the network,” said Cookson.