Independent Online

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Now Eskom is struggling to meet demand for services in Gauteng

Eskom coal fired power station. File Photo

Eskom coal fired power station. File Photo

Published Jul 6, 2022

Share

Pretoria - Eskom says the high number of incidents of electricity equipment failure had put a strain on its ability to replace equipment and restore supply to the affected areas across Gauteng.

On Wednesday, the power utility said it had limited stock levels of mini-substations and transformers due to increased electricity equipment failure caused by network overloading.

Story continues below Advertisement

“The network overloading is caused by illegal connections, meter bypassing and tampering, unauthorised operations on the network, infrastructure vandalism and theft, as well as the non-payment and non-purchasing of legal electricity tokens, which is constantly on the rise,” Eskom said.

On Wednesday, Eskom and unions in the energy sector announced reached an agreement to end a wildcat strike which had plunged the country into Stage 6 load shedding.

On Thursday, the power utility said it has successfully replaced and repaired 116 out of 181 of the damaged mini-substations and 1 326 out of 2 314 transformers. The cost was R152m.

Despite the upgrades, the utility said it still faced a high demand for equipment replacement and repairs.

“Adding to the delays, which is a major concern to the Eskom management, are the frequent and increased number of incidents of road closures and protests which delay entry into areas where work needs to be conducted.

“Access to our offices is often blockaded, employees are sometimes assaulted, intimidated and in extreme situations, held hostage by some of the community members. This harassment and intimidation is also being experienced by our employees while driving and operating in the field across the province.

Story continues below Advertisement

“The safety of Eskom employees is our number one priority; we will withdraw our services in areas where their safety is compromised,“ said Mashangu Xivambu, the senior manager for maintenance and operations in Gauteng.

“Although we are faced with the challenge of equipment shortages, the manufacturers have committed to continue to prioritise Eskom as they understand the impact this has on Gauteng as the economic hub, the essential services and the communities in the province,” said Xivambu.

IOL

Story continues below Advertisement

Share