Eskom has raised its concern about the number of attacks on its employees by communities who want to forcefully steal electricity.
On Tuesday the utility announced it had temporarily suspended services in Sebokeng Zone 7 after the intimidation of staff members and damage caused to its infrastructure in the area.
“Services will resume when the utility deems it safe for its employees to work in the area,” said Daphne Mokwena, senior manager of customer services in Gauteng.
The utility said this followed a similar incident in Orlando East, Soweto where its employees were violently attacked and property damaged.
“Eskom urges members of communities across Gauteng to avoid illegal acts which cause network overloading and subsequent failure and explosions of pole-mounted transformers and mini-substations. Customers are encouraged to pay for their electricity consumption to avoid disconnections and the failure of transformers as a result of overloaded networks.”
Last month the Independent Police Investigative Directorate said it was investigating a Tshwane metro police officer who shot and killed a man in Leeuwfontein as police battled against izinyoka, or electricity thieves.
Directorate spokesperson Ndileka Cola said police were attempting to stop a group of people trying to illegally reconnect electrical cables that had been disconnected by a cable theft unit a few hours earlier.
She said that the group resisted police orders and instead started throwing stones at the police.
“The crowd management unit members then alighted from their Nyala and retaliated by shooting at the community members throwing stones,” Cola said.