Eskom issued a start warning on Wednesday, saying it will increase “load reduction” measures in Gauteng to try to cope with threats to its distribution infrastructure from criminals.
The state-owned electricity utility said that with temperatures dropping in Gauteng as winter approaches, it has “noted with concern a significant rise in network overloading as a result of illegal electricity activities across high-density areas in the province”.
Rolling load reduction, where electricity is cut off to parts of the province to protect Eskom’s network, will have to be intensified if the situation does not improve, the company warned.
It appealed to the public to “refrain from using electricity indiscriminately” and from using illegal connections, bypassing meters, and tampering with and vandalising electricity infrastructure.
“Substantially high trends of energy demand are being recorded during peak periods in the mornings between 5am and 9am, and again in the evenings between 5pm and 10pm. Due to the rising number of illegal electricity activities, such as purchases made from ghost vendors, illegal connections and illegal operating, the electricity infrastructure is starting to fail,” Eskom said.
“This puts a strain on the repair and replacement of the failed assets. Eskom will have to intensify load reduction to protect these assets from repeated failure and explosions, firstly focusing on high-density areas and those with multiple dwellings or backyard dwellings.”
Customers identified as not paying for their electricity services will be disconnected, it promised. – © 2021 NewsCentral Media