- Illegal electricity connections in Diepkloof Zone 3 in Soweto has caused Eskom to disconnect 700 homes there from their electricity supply
- Residents are angry that Eskom left them in the dark and have barricaded roads to protest the power utility's decision
- Diepkloof residents will have to pay a R6052 fine before Eskom will reconnect the electricity supply to their homes
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SOWETO - Eskom has disconnected its power supply to the Diepkloof Zone 3 area in Soweto. The reason for this is that the power utility is punishing residents for making use of illegal electricity connections.
Amanda Qithi, a spokesperson for Eskom in Gauteng, said that the power utility has sustained a large number of energy losses from illegal connections, illegal electricity sales, and people bypassing electricity meters.
If households in the township want to have their electricity supply restored, they have to pay Eskom R6052 before they will do so, the power utility said.
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Effects of Eskom's decision to disconnect Diepkloof households
According to News24, Diepkloof residents were angered by Eskom disconnecting their homes from the power grid and responded by protesting in their area. They set up barricades on several roads and highways.
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"Ever since we have converted the area into prepaid, they are not buying electricity. We then gave them fines of R6 052 per household. Illegal connections are rife, which is why they don't buy electricity because they are illegally connected," Qithi said.
The Eskom spokesperson said that the power utility does not have a targeted campaign against Diepkloof and will do the same in other areas where a high number of illegal connections are prevalent.
Reactions to Eskom shutting off Diepkloof's illegal connections
"This is stupid. Why don’t you deal with those who don’t pay instead of switching off an entire township? You’re going to regret it."
"Go to the individual houses!"
"This is unfair, your system should show you who pays and who not. Why must those of us that pay be punished as well?"
"So paying these fees will miraculously solve the problem of illegal connections, meter bypassing and ghost vendors. Come fix and work from there and when you pick up the fault you can pull the plug on the defaulting customer, not the whole zone."
34 High-risk profiles revealed in lifestyle audit
Previously Briefly News reported that a lifestyle audit of power utility Eskom was recently conducted and it revealed that there are 34 high-risk cases. Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that these cases have been forwarded to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
SCOPA, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, serves as a watchdog for Parliament. In response to De Ruyter, SCOPA said that they fail to understand why Eskom cannot explain their failure to adhere to budgets and why they have expenditures they cannot account for.
When Eskom presented the findings of its lifestyle audit to SCOPA in Parliament yesterday (23 November), they declared that their irregular expenditure amounts to over R37.2 billion. This figure, along with Eskom's inability to account for it, shocked SCOPA.
Source: Briefly News