Eskom’s ac­tion on power tan­ta­mount to day­light rob­bery

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Tha­bile Mange

DUR­ING the win­ter sea­son, com­mu­nity protests against elec­tric­ity cut-offs or high tar­iffs usu­ally heighten.

In­ter­est­ingly, we are in the last month of win­ter and there have been few, if any, re­ported cases of com­mu­nity protests against elec­tric­ity cut-offs or high tar­iffs. But I di­gress. Eskom is busy in­stalling new elec­tric­ity boxes in and around Gaut­eng.

The com­mu­nity in my area have in­di­cated that they do not want the new elec­tric­ity boxes. But, re­gard­less, the power util­ity is go­ing ahead and in­stalling them.

When­ever the res­i­dents re­sist, they ei­ther bring the po­lice or go to an­other sec­tion.

The elec­tric­ity util­ity is also us­ing un­der­hand tac­tics to in­stall the un­wanted boxes.

Some­times they switch off elec­tric­ity for a few houses so that res­i­dents phone their call cen­tre and re­port that they have no lights.

When the tech­ni­cians ar­rive, they change the old boxes and in­stall the new ones. Res­i­dents have com­plained about the high tar­iffs since the in­stal­la­tion of these boxes, but no one is giv­ing them an ear.

They protested un­til they turned blue but noth­ing came out of it.

No one can be happy with spend­ing R1 200 to R1 800 on elec­tric­ity alone, when pre­vi­ously they used to spend about R300 a month.

The chal­lenge is that there is no plat­form for res­i­dents to en­gage Eskom.

The fact that the of­fices of the util­ity are out of reach, which seems to be a de­lib­er­ate move, makes mat­ters worse. Coun­cil­lors are also not help­ful with re­gard to the mat­ter.

I think res­i­dents de­serve to know why they are pay­ing so much for elec­tric­ity.

But it is clear that the elec­tric­ity util­ity is not ac­count­able to its cus­tomers and does as it pleases.

And the govern­ment is also look­ing the other way.

So Eskom is get­ting away with mur­der.

What the elec­tric­ity util­ity is do­ing is day­light rob­bery, and it needs to be held ac­count­able.

If it means tak­ing it to the pub­lic pro­tec­tor or court, so be it. Elec­tric­ity is a ba­sic ne­ces­sity. But the util­ity seems hell-bent on mak­ing a profit out of it. What needs to be done? I’m ad­vo­cat­ing that we form an elec­tric­ity cri­sis com­mit­tee to en­gage man­age­ment of the util­ity di­rectly re­gard­ing the cri­sis we are fac­ing.

Maybe we will be able to get the an­swers we so des­per­ately want.

Power util­ity needs to be held ac­count­able


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