Some Orange Farm residents to remain without power after Eskom staff intimidated

Eskom says a transformer was overloaded by residents who connected themselves to the network and vandalised infrastructure.

Picture: Pexels.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom on Thursday said more than 700 households in Orange Farm would remain cut off after community members intimidated its employees.

The power utility said the township’s electricity supply collapsed last week after a transformer was overloaded by residents who illegally connected themselves to the network and vandalised infrastructure.

Eskom’s Gauteng maintenance and operations senior manager Motlhabane Ramashi said technicians were dispatched to the area on Thursday to attend to the power outage, but they were threatened.

“It is regrettable that our efforts to provide reliable electricity service are often disrupted and undermined by individuals who do not pay for their services. We have an obligation to provide services, yet keep our staff safe, run our operations efficiently, collect revenue for services provided and safeguard our infrastructure,” Ramashi said in a statement.

“These extended outages were mainly caused by resistance on the part of the community as they obstructed us from conducting audits. Eskom has relentlessly engaged with community representatives in the affected areas.

“We have engaged with the City of Joburg together with Orange Farm community representatives on Wednesday, 15 April 2020, and agreed to resume with operations to establish the state of the network, the scope of work to repair and replace vandalised infrastructure. We will resume restoration of supply as soon as is declared safe and taking into consideration the possible resources and material constraints”, he added.