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READER LETTER | Illegal connections part of Eskom's woes

Eskom says communities in areas with illegal connections tend to become hostile when Eskom removes the wires.
Eskom says communities in areas with illegal connections tend to become hostile when Eskom removes the wires.
Image: Alon Skuy

Eskom is without doubt fast gaining a reputation for being unreliable with its electricity power cuts and reduction outages. While the power utility does its level best to keep the lights on, truth be told we contribute to its woes and we are part of the problem.

In emakasi we build backyard rooms, especially in RDP houses, and never upgrade the meter boxes, which gets trained by being overloaded by extra connections, mostly illegal. Some have as many as 10 rooms or more.

I once rented a room in Midrand and the electricity tripped all the time. Come month end, “mastanda” wants his money in full, and didn’t care about upgrading the meter box until the main transformer exploded.

No electricity for two weeks. When Eskom came, households with tenants were advised to upgrade their boxes as that one installed inside the house is designed particularly for the RDP house only.

Worst of all is cable theft by our brothers for cash at scrap yards. For some, cable stealing has become their profession, and a daily job. Then we have illegal power connections and it’s well documented that informal settlement dwellers are the main culprits.

They have never paid a cent for electricity as they steal it from bond houses or straight from electric poles. Only and unless we resolve these problems, the load shedding crisis is here to stay. We have ourselves to blame, not solely the power utility.

McDivett Khumbulani Tshehla


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