Eskom says theft and vandalism hampering operations

The utility said that this year alone, Eskom in Gauteng had lost billions of rand in revenue in its attempt to protect its infrastructure.

Eskom's Megawatt Park head office in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has appealed to customers who have been issued with fines to pay up so that their electricity could be reconnected.

A list has been circulating that the utility plans to switch off electricity in certain parts of Soweto, but Eskom said this was false and incorrect.

The utility said that this year alone, Eskom in Gauteng had lost billions of rand in revenue in its attempt to protect its infrastructure.

Eskom said theft and vandalism have hampered the utility in fully implementing its mandate.

The parastatal said it was important to run its operations efficiently and curb financial losses because of illegal activities.

Gauteng Eskom spokesperson Amanda Qithi said: "The increase and magnitude of criminality such as stealing of electricity, theft and vandalism of equipment, unpaid bills, and buying electricity from ghost vendors necessitates Eskom to respond by disconnecting those found to have contravened and issuing them with reconnection fines."

Eskom said it would continue to educate its customers about the importance of paying and would encourage them to apply for and use the free basic electricity mandate available for low income households.