While load shedding has kept its distance recently, Gauteng customers are not completely out of the woods. They have been urged to use electricity sparingly and efficiently to avoid network overload and frequent supply interruptions, Eskom said in a statement on Wednesday 23 June 2021.
The call by Eskom follows a rise in network overloading incidents which lead to sporadic and continuous power supply interruptions.
To help alleviate the network from the unsustainable pressure, electricity users are advised to switch off geysers, stoves, heaters and other non-essential equipment during peak hours which are mornings between 5:00 and 9:00, and again in the evenings between 17:00 and 22:00.
The power utility has also warned against illegal electricity-related activities as these contribute immensely to network failure.
“Eskom is experiencing extensive supply interruptions across Gauteng as a result of failed electricity infrastructure due to network overloads which are caused by unauthorised operations, illegal connections, meter tampering and bypasses and equipment vandalism,” it said.
In Soweto and Orange Farm, various communities have embarked on protests where roads are barricaded, leaving Eskom technicians with no access to the areas.
“The road closures are interfering with our efforts to restore supply in the affected areas. Preventing us access to such areas causes delays in restoration of supply to customers. This also poses a safety risk to our employees. Our employees will not operate in areas where their safety may be compromised. We, therefore, appeal to communities in these areas to cooperate with us by clearing roads and to not interfere with our operations on site,” said Mashangu Xivambu, Gauteng Cluster Senior Manager in Maintenance and Operations.
To avoid frequent and prolonged outages, Eskom has advised communities to take care of the infrastructure that supplies them with electricity by refraining from all illegal activities that lead to network failure.
Customers are further encouraged to buy legal electricity tokens and to pay for their consumption.
“Those found to have contraventions will be disconnected and issued with reconnection fines which have to be paid in full before supply is restored,” Eskom added.