Ivory Park residents bar Eskom from removing illegal connections

Power outages have recently plagued the Ivory Park area because of illegal connections and meter bypasses, resulting in network overloading.

Eskom is keen to resume with operations to replace failed transformers, but it looks like the residents are not allowing the utility to do so.

Joanne Joseph speaks to Eskom operations and maintenance manager Motlhabane Ramashi about the situation.

We started with his initiative around May/June and the main driver in Gauteng was for us to try and contain our revenue losses, reduce our operational costs and thereby improve our profitability.

Motlhabane Ramashi, Operations and maintenance manager - Eskom

In areas like Ivory Park, Diepsloot, Braamfischerville and Winterveldt we had serious payment issues where we had our customers bypassing meters, not buying for consumption. This then results in our transformers overloading and exploding.

Motlhabane Ramashi, Operations and maintenance manager - Eskom

We took a decision not to replace the equipment until we can sit down with our communities and agree on certain things. Some of those things include the communities allowing us to do the audits, removing the illegal connections and removing bypassed meters and issuing tamper fines.

Motlhabane Ramashi, Operations and maintenance manager - Eskom

But there are still pockets of resistance and Eskom and some members of the community could not reach an agreement.

Some of the community members do not want Eskom to audit and remove illegal connections and bypassed meters. In Ivory Park, to give an example, you have a group of customers that are willing to work with Eskom and so far we have replaced about 22 transformers. We still have 18 where we could not reach consensus with the community.

Motlhabane Ramashi, Operations and maintenance manager - Eskom

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