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Eskom: 'Criminals stealing cables during load shedding are prolonging outages'

The power utility implemented load shedding at 9am on Saturday which is likely to last until 10pm. It has warned customers to expect rotation cut of about 4 hours.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says while it understands the frustration caused by load shedding, it’s fighting an uphill battle with criminals stealing vital power cables, often resulting in longer outages.

The power utility implemented load shedding at 9am on Saturday which is likely to last until 10pm. It has warned customers to expect rotation cut of about 4 hours.

It’s the third consecutive day of load shedding.

“The biggest challenge that we are facing, among others, with the list of areas that will be affected is that criminals are now looking into this list – we are told – and they now know which areas will be affected. Some of these criminals are now stealing cables, so when the power comes back on, the cable is now missing,” says Eskom spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe.

Meanwhile, City Power says it won't be cutting electricity except in instances where Eskom switches off one of the substations feeding the City of Johannesburg.

Spokesperson Sol Masolo says City Power has implemented a number of mitigations to make sure that Johannesburg doesn’t experience the same load shedding.

“So in short, Joburg will not be experiencing load shedding when the rest of the country is load shedding.”