Power utility Eskom says it will restrict electricity supply, on a rotational basis, to the areas in Gauteng which are overloading and damaging infrastructure through illegal connections.
Eskom said that it has continued to record a “substantially high” trend of energy demand during peak periods in the mornings and evenings in certain areas of the province, specifically between 05h00 and 09h00, and 17h00 and 20h00 every day.
“Eskom’s immediate response is to safeguard its assets from repeated failure and explosions as a result of overloading caused by illegal connections, meter bypasses and tampering with electricity infrastructure that are on an increase,” it said.
Given the power utility’s widely known financial issues, it said it is prudent for the group to reduce the high costs associated with repeated equipment failure resulting from this illegal activity, where “power is indiscriminately used during peak periods.”
To this end, it said it will restrict power supply on rotational basis in an attempt to contain the situation.
“We deem the constant repairs and replacement of equipment that fails before we can realise their investment as unwarranted. This will not sustain our operations, should we continue on this trajectory,” it said.
While no specific areas were listed by Eskom, the group said that it will target high density areas with illegal connections – such as squatter camps.
These are the high risk areas where infrastructure such as transformers continue to blow because of overloading, it said.
The supply restrictions will take place in the hours identified as peak for overload – between 05h00 and 09h00, and 17h00 and 20h00.