Eskom’s action on power tantamount to daylight robbery
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