TO: ALL MEDIA
ATTENTION: NEWS EDITORS AND JOURNALISTS
ISSUES: TUESDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MUNICIPALITY MEETS WITH ESKOM ON EFFECTS OF LOAD REDUCTION
In May 2020, Eskom introduced and started implementing load reduction largely in townships and informal settlements across the country as a response to overloading of its infrastructure during peak hours and illegal connections resulting in severe damages amounting to millions of rands in losses through ongoing repairs and replacements.
The overloading is largely due to illegal consumption which continues to increase. In some areas, Eskom has stopped restoring power supply by not repairing or replacing damaged parts of its network due to repeated overloading by customers who bypass Eskom electricity meters and illegally connect to the grid.
To date, the power utility continues to cut off electricity supply to identified areas to address localised distribution problems during peak demand periods, i.e. 5-9 in the morning and 5-10 in the evening to protect its infrastructure from overloading.
In Mogale City, these reductions affect Eskom supplies areas such as Kagiso, Lusaka, Swanneville, Sinqobile as well as parts of Muldersdrift and Magaliesburg which overtime resulted in protests and disgruntled residents.
To map out a working partnership and better understand power supply challenges in the aforementioned areas, Executive Mayor Tyrone Gray, MMC responsible for Utilities Kagiso Lekagane and a team of Mogale City officials on Wednesday, 2 February 2022 convened a meeting with Eskom task team which was held in the Mayoral Chamber.
In this meeting, the power utility raised two major concerns which subsequently led to the unfortunate decision to introduce load reductions in Mogale City.
Firstly, the culture of non-payment by consumers to Eskom negatively affects the utility’s ability to service its creditors such as coal suppliers and repair damaged infrastructure such as substations and transformers. Eskom also confirmed that said pole-mounted transformers and miniature substations have been exploding frequently in these townships and informal settlements, and replacing the equipment was costly and unsustainable. The meeting resolved to explore the use of municipal courts in cable theft issues and that the culture of non-payment of services should be discouraged as it also affects paying customers that reside in these areas.
Secondly, overloading caused by illegal connections, meter bypasses, purchasing electricity from ghost vendors and tampering with Eskom’s infrastructure has been on the rise in the prementioned areas. These unfortunately cost Eskom millions of rands and to safeguard its assets from repeated failure caused by illegal connections, meter bypasses and tampering, some damaged infrastructure will have to remain unrepaired until funds can be sourced. A please is being made for community members to assist in curbing infrastructure vandalism and theft by reporting the culprits and changing the culture of negatively perceived whistleblowing in townships
Going forward, Mogale City will on an ongoing basis work closely with Eskom and strive to constantly keep stakeholders especially communities informed of progress and challenges. This with the objective of ensuring continued energy supply to our paying constituency.
Mogale City Local Municipality
Corporate Communications on behalf of Energy Services