Elec­tric­ity theft has se­ri­ous neg­a­tive im­pact

Eyethu Baywatch - - NEWS • IZINDABA - Lau­rie Smith

‘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).

Dave Sa­vides

Eskom’s KZN Gen­eral Man­ager Monde Bala says elec­tric­ity theft is se­verely im­pact­ing the econ­omy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.