Locals appear to be contributing to continuing power outages

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Following reports, certain residents from Osizweni, Madadeni and other areas appear to be contributing to continuing power outages.

This comes on the heels of Eskom stating that it has noted a rise in blown transformers due to overloading, resulting in electricity outages in several areas around KwaZulu-Natal.

According to the power utility, overloading occurs when more people consume electricity from a network than the capacity was designed for. This is mostly due to illegal connections and tampering with meters.

“Overloading on the Eskom electrical network results in damages to electricity infrastructure through the explosion of transformers and mini-substations, as well as in prolonged unplanned outages. It also poses a great danger to people and property,” emphasised the power utility.

To protect its network infrastructure and to ensure the safety of the public, Eskom pointed out that it implements load reduction in areas that experience network overloading.

Furthermore, the company stated, “Electricity theft also results in huge financial losses to Eskom as revenue lost to these illegal connections or bypassed meters is not recovered. This is over and above the losses suffered from equipment damage due to overloading,” the power utility highlighted.

However, Eskom said it would only replace the transformer once the illegal connections had been removed.

“In addition, household meters will need to be audited to ensure that it is safe to reconnect. This will result in extended power outages for the communities,” noted Eskom.

Areas that have been heavily affected by electricity outages due to blown transformers include:  

  • Madadeni and Osizweni, in the Newcastle area.
  • Nseleni in Richards Bay.
  • Umzinto in the South Coast.
  • Bhamshela, Mpolweni, Swayimane, Imbali, Edendale, Vulindlela, Lions River, Lidgeton, Impendle, Richmond, and other areas in Pietermaritzburg.

Eskom’s General Manager for KwaZulu-Natal and Free State, Agnes Mlambo said, “The vandalism incidents have been reported to the police and Eskom appeals to communities of these areas to come forward with information that may help in apprehending the perpetrators.”

Mlambo added that these ongoing criminal acts pose the biggest threat to reliable electricity supply.

“This results in widespread unplanned power outages, which leaves a negative impact on the economy, society, as well as on Eskom’s already burdened financial situation,” she explained.

Mlambo is now urging all South Africans to help combat infrastructure theft, vandalism, illegal connections, and other forms of electricity theft, by reporting these criminal activities to the Eskom crime line toll-free number: 0800 112 722.

What are your thoughts on the above-mentioned? Share your views in the comment section below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.