Illegal connections overloaded the electricity grid causing power outages across parts of Johannesburg this week, Eskom said on Friday.
Eskom said communities should “refrain from connecting themselves illegally, to use electricity sparingly and stop buying electricity from ghost vendors”.
“The intermittent power interruptions experienced this week, particularly in Soweto, Emfuleni, Katlehong, Bophelong, Kagiso and Cosmo City, have now been restored,” it said in a statement.
“The power outages were caused by overloading of the network because of illegal connections and some network related faults.”
Soweto has approximately 180 000 customers, 80% of whom are on a conventionally billed metering system and the remainder are on a prepaid metering system.
The plan is to convert all customers to split prepaid meters within five years. Eskom will waive Soweto residents’ debt repayments (which total around R4bn) as an incentive to convert to prepaid meters.
Eskom said it has installed over 40 000 split prepaid meters and converted over 13 000 to prepaid mode.
It said its teams worked “tirelessly over the past few days to restore power to the affected areas”.
While Eskom said it did not anticipate any load shedding “this winter and beyond”, it appealed to customers to reduce their electricity consumption especially during peak periods (6am and 8am, 5pm and 8pm) in order to ease pressure on the power system.