- Power utility Eskom has explained to South Africans that load reduction is not the same as load-shedding
- The power utility said load reduction only occurs in areas with illegal connections overwhelming the grid
- The rolling blackouts, which are a result of load reduction, happen between 5am to 9am and 5pm to 10pm
South Africans in several areas have been hit with rolling electricity blackouts in what Eskom is calling "load reduction".
In what Eskom argues is not just a semantic re-purposing of load shedding, load reduction is different from load-shedding. South Africans have been confused about what the different may be.
Load-shedding is when South Africa does not have enough capacity to generate electricity and the country is hit by scheduled, controlled blackouts across different areas.
Introduced in mid-May this year, load reduction is when power is switched off in neighbourhoods where illegal connections cause overload and damage infrastructure.
According to Eskom, load reduction is meant to protect its infrastructure by reducing electricity usage during peak hours, said Business Insider.
The load reduction happens between 5am to 9am and 5pm to 10pm in the affected areas.The power utility says this intervention is to stave off overloading on the power grid caused mainly by illegal connections and vandalism.
Briefly.co.za reported that two Eskom technicians were kidnapped on Sunday and held for up to an hour when they were disconnecting the illegal connections in a community in Ekurhuleni.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha told Radio 702 that:
"In the high residential areas in Gauteng which are mainly the townships, we have a serious problem of illegal connections. People tamper with the big green transformers and connect themselves illegally and that results in them abusing electricity."
Mantshansha said when the transformers are overloaded they explode, and the power utility pays on average R80 000 per transformer which blows up easily when overloaded.
The spokesperson added that he Eskom did not say black people steal electricity, Eskom has said in the high residential areas there are massive problems of illegal connections.
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