Three men have been arrested for allegedly stealing 10 Eskom transformers worth about R500 000 and tampering with the network infrastructure.
Cables and poles, presumably belonging to City Power, were also found at the scene in Diepsloot, Gauteng, where the men were arrested.
Eskom security officials have been alerted to an illegal 11 kV connection of about 1 km in length that provides informal settlements in the area. The three men, all residents of the area, were arrested there.
“The arrests follow a comprehensive investigation by Eskom and the police. It is part of ongoing efforts to capture criminals that undermine Eskom’s efforts to provide electricity, ”said Motlhabana Ramashi, senior manager of maintenance and operations in Gauteng.
“We have recently begun to reduce the load alternately in areas or networks that are regularly overloaded. Deep water is one of those areas. The restrictions should protect Eskom’s assets from repeated collapse and explosions, as well as curb the rising costs associated with it, ”Ramashi said.
The significant increase in power consumption occurs in the mornings and evenings during peak hours. This leads to overload which in turn means the equipment gives the spirit and explodes.
Ramashi says this is the result of illegal connections, meters being bypassed and tampering with electricity in densely populated areas, or where many people also live in backyards.
“We commend the members of the public for their bravery for taking a stand against the illegal activities that interfere with power supply and posing a danger due to exposure to unprotected electricity infrastructure.
“Eskom is determined to protect its assets during the seclusion period as well as to ensure it can provide essential services to residents,” Ramashi said.