Eskom loses some R2 billion to electricity theft each year.
David McNew / Staff / Getty
Three employees of an Eskom-contracted company have been arrested for allegedly undertaking illegal electricity connections in Newcastle, the power utility said on Tuesday.
An Eskom team was travelling back from a field operation on Friday when they spotted the suspects in an unmarked vehicle working on Eskom apparatus near the Theku Plaza in Osizweni, Eskom said in a statement. It did not name the company.
Eskom loses some R2 billion to electricity theft each year. The power utility has stressed that illegal connections make it difficult to maintain stable electricity supply.
The beleaguered state-owned company regularly implements so-called load reduction – localised rolling blackouts similar to load shedding, but limited to specific areas – in hotspots it says are at particularly high risk of overloading the grid. This risk can be due in part to high incidences of electricity theft and illegal connections, according to Eskom.
“When approached, the suspects claimed to be doing legitimate Eskom work. But on closer inspection, it was discovered that they were conducting illegal electricity connections,” Eskom added in its statement on Tuesday. The incident was reported to the South African Police Services and the three suspects were arrested.
They appeared in court on Monday 18 October.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can
trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to
a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism,
top opinions and a range of features. Journalism
strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.