Restore Power To Esikhaleni, City Mayor Pleads With Eskom

City Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo has pleaded with Eskom to restore power to eSikhaleni with immediate effect and deal with illegal connectivity later.
Mhlongo said the power utility’s decision to cut power supply to the township has not only caused unnecessary chaos, but it has also affected water provision to the area.
This after angry residents blocked roads with burning tyres and rubble on Wednesday, protesting over the interruption of electricity while it tackles illegal connections and vandalism of its infrastructure.
The  Mayor met with Eskom Management responsible for eMpangeni region, to look into solutions to the power supply in the outer areas of eSikhaleni.
‘The whole of eSikhaleni Cluster is supplied by Cubhu Lake that has no power.
‘The blockages of the roads and burning of municipal and government infrastructure now prevent our municipal vehicles to even send diesel to the generators at Cubhu which then means we are not pumping a single drop to the system,’ said Mhlongo.
‘We are in this predicament because of Eskom’s management decisions, which are not practical on implementation.
‘Genuine Eskom customers are now affected by such a decision and our own city customers are now suffering because Eskom customers are in the dark,’ said Mhlongo.
He pleaded with angry community members to exercise calm and not damage public infrastructure and avoid disrupting movement.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, Eskom said eSikhaleni residents have been experiencing frequent and extended outages due to illegal connections and meter bypassing which result in the overloading of networks.
‘Electricity supply to parts of the town was lost once again during peak hours.
‘Eskom took the decision to leave the power supply switched off until the audits currently being conducted in the area, are complete.
‘The same will apply when supply to other parts of eSikhaleni are interrupted due to overloading,’ said Eskom Central East Industry Support and Stakeholder Relations’, Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg.
Rensburg said since audits began last week, close to 30 illegal connections had been removed. ‘Electricity theft in eSikhaleni is resulting in huge financial losses to Eskom.
‘Revenue from a vast majority of electricity used on the feeder is not recovered as this electricity is acquired through illegal connections or bypassed meters.
‘This is over and above the losses suffered from equipment damage due to overloading.
‘The current vandalism of Eskom equipment by distraught community members is also making matters worse and will result in further delays and even longer interruptions,’ she said.