Report illegal electricity theft

2015-08-12 06:00

ILLEGAL electricity connections need to be reported and stopped before there is another fatality because people have been exposed to live wires.

That was the message that Brigadier Francis Bantham had for the community in the light of Eskom’s National Electricity Safety Week which runs from 11 to 17 August.

“There have been a number of fatalities in the Mountain Rise policing area due to the illegal connection of electricity. Perpetrators, who are involved in illegal connections, will be apprehended and formally charged. Every caution must be taken by the community in order to stop further fatalities. I am urging the community to partner with the police and report illegal connections, by doing this you will be saving people’s lives,” said Bantham.

During National Electricity Safety Week, which was launched recently, Eskom will be educating communities about the basics of safe electricity usage and the risks of electricity theft, including meter tampering, bypassing and illegal connections.

According to Alex Stramrood, Eskom’s corporate occupational health and safety operations manager, annually lives are lost as a result of illegal connections and unsafe use of electricity.

“We believe that one injury or fatality as a result of the unsafe use of electricity is one too many. We have identified that the biggest contributors to electrical accidents, injuries and fatalities are contact with low-hanging conductors, unsafe connections, vandalism, illegal power connections and cable theft,” he said.

Stramrood said that businesses and residents regularly connect to the Eskom network illegally and these connections draw too much power often resulting in power failures for paying customers. Not only are these connections risky for the connectors, but also the community.

Residents are encouraged to report illegal electricity connections to 08600 37566 or 0800 112 722 or report electricity theft to Operation Khanyisa by sending an SMS to Crime Line on 32211. The service is anonymous and costs R1 per SMS

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