Cut illegal connections or stay in the dark, Eskom tells Soweto residents

Residents of Pimville Zone 2, who have been left without electricity supply for three months after a transformer exploded, have staged a protest outside the power utility's headquarters, Megawatt Park in Sunninghill.

FILE: City Power officials on 3 June 2020 disconnected illegal electricity connections at Phumula Mqashi informal settlement in Vlakfontein. The officials were joined by JMPD and SAPS officers. Picture: @CityPowerJhb/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has given residents in Soweto an ultimatum to disconnect illegal connections or remain in the dark.

Residents of Pimville Zone 2, who have been left without electricity supply for three months after a transformer exploded, have staged a protest outside the power utility's headquarters, Megawatt Park in Sunninghill.

Blocking entry into the headquarters, the community said that they had attempted to talk to Eskom about restoring their power but with no success.

Residents, including the elderly, have pushed back against Eskom's treatment of the Pimville community after their electricity supply was cut in June.

Members said that they were not opposed to paying for power but were merely asking that they not take the fall for those who continued to connect to the utility’s network illegally.

Eskom’s Reneiloe Semenya said that in order to restore power, the issue of illegal connections must be resolved.

"As Eskom, before we restore or repair supply, we have to do an audit process where we have to remove all the illegal connections and those meters that have been bypassed need to be fixed. It will not be of help for Eskom to restore those mini-substations without adequately dealing with the root causes, which is illegal connections and meter bypasses."

Eskom is now in discussions with the protest organisers while police remain on the scene to monitor the situation.

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