Eskom: We'll withdraw services in areas where our employees' safety compromised

Eskom said that assaults on its technicians and violent protests over electricity in some Gauteng communities were adding to the delays in restoring power to areas experiencing interruptions.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom said that assaults on its technicians and violent protests over electricity in some Gauteng communities were adding to the delays in restoring power to areas experiencing interruptions.

The power utility said that the high failure rate of mini-substations and transformers in the province due to network overloading was placing strain on its ability to replace and restore energy supply.

The repair work comes amid the implementation of rolling power cuts by Eskom which the utility said had added more pressure to its system.

Eskom's senior manager for maintenance and operations in Gauteng, Mashangu Xivambu, said that road closures during protests added to these delays when officials were prevented from doing their work.

"Access to our offices is often blockaded, employees are sometimes assaulted, intimidated and in the extreme situations, held hostage by some of the community members," Xivambu said.

Xivambu said that they’d reported the cases of intimidation to law enforcement authorities.

"The safety of Eskom employees is our number one priority. We'll withdraw our services in all areas where their safety is compromised," he said.

He also said that the utility was addressing the equipment shortage.