Eskom denies targeting black communities with 'load reduction'
The power utility said in 'high residential areas,' which are mainly townships, they have huge problems of illegal connections.
JOHANNESBURG - It's a cold and dark winter for some residents in Gauteng as Eskom implements what it calls "load reduction".
The power utility on Tuesday said in 'high residential areas,' which are mainly townships, they had huge problems of illegal connections.
Load reduction happens between 5 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 10 pm in the affected areas.
This intervention, Eskom said, was to stave off overloading the power grid caused mainly by illegal connections and vandalism.
"In the high residential areas in Gauteng, which are mainly the townships, we have a serious problem of illegal connections," Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha told 702's Aubrey Masango.
"People tamper with the big green transformers and connect themselves illegally and that results in them abusing electricity. We have decided the best way to protect not only the transformers but Eskom's employees and Eskom's money is to switch off power when the most damage occurs."
However, Mantshantsha added that this was not targeting of black communities, as some have alleged.
"Eskom has not said it is black people that steal electricity, Eskom has said in the high residential areas we have massive problems of illegal connections."
Listen to the audio below for more.