Electricity theft has serious negative impact
‘THEFT, vandalism and illegal connections are a major threat to human life and comes at an enormous cost to the economy.’
This is the message from Eskom KZN’s General Manager, Monde Bala, who this week issued a warning to residents who continue to risk their lives by tampering with electrical connections.
‘The biggest threats to reliable electricity supply are theft, vandalism and illegal connections,’ he said. ‘Eskom spends enormous amounts of time and money replacing equipment to restore electricity supply and tracking those criminals responsible for disabling and stealing the utility’s cables and other infrastructure, which are mainly sold at scrapyards.
‘This causes unplanned power outages and has an impact on both the economy and society.
‘When we experience an unplanned power outage owing to infrastructure theft, criminals seem oblivious to the fact that they are putting many lives at risk.’
He said in cases where public institutions do not have electricity or power substitutes, a power cut disables critical machinery and puts lives in danger.
‘Furthermore, productivity in businesses comes to a grinding halt when there is cable theft, and ultimately, jobs are put at risk.
‘These ripple effects are not just experienced by Eskom, but the country also loses valuable investors and large amounts of money and production.’
Reporting the matter
Bala reiterated that the country needs to join forces to fight the problem.
‘It is not just an Eskom problem, but a national challenge. Municipalities and metros are facing the same problems and we are working closely with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to fight this scourge as a collective.’
Residents can report theft, vandalism, illegal connections and other forms of electricity theft by sending an anonymous SMS to the Crime Line on 32211 (R1 per SMS), using the Crime Line website www.crimeline.co.za or calling Eskom’s reporting line 0800 112 722 (toll free).
Eskom’s KZN General Manager Monde Bala says electricity theft is severely impacting the economy