Eskom's reason for the recent failure of its electricity supply to Bedfordview fails to get to the root causes of the three-day power interruption.
It is no good saying that the cause of the failure was an oil leak. The truth is the stoppage happened when a contractor damaged an electricity cable. But the question is, why was this allowed to happen?
Obviously, the contractor was allowed to dig unsupervised in an area where a 132kV cable was located. This was allowed to happen though this was extremely dangerous and could have led to loss of life.
It is for the second time that high-tension cables were damaged, and steps were not taken to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
Why did it take Eskom so long when this problem happened for first time? The problem was only dealt with when it became an emergency.
We also want to know why this happened again after it was dealt with? Was it because of a lack of maintenance, overloading or bad workmanship?
Eskom is supposed to be the expert in transmission, but failures continue though regional electricity distributors (Reds) exist. Reds are there to ensure a qualitative electricity supply?
There is no reason to believe Reds will be the panacea to the unreliability of power supply. Indeed, these entities may well turn out to be the devils we do not know.
Councillor Eddie Taylor Ekurhuleni Metro