At least 15 people have lost their lives as a result of contact with electricity this year, and a further 147 people suffered electricity-related injuries.
This is according to Eskom’s senior manager for occupational health and safety, Miranda Moahlodi, who said the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo had reported the most incidents.
Eskom is observing Electricity Safety Month and aims to highlight the dangers of illegal connections as well as a rise in criminal activity such as vandalism of infrastructure and theft of electricity cables.
Moahlodi said: “(Electricity) is a powerful and essential resource, but it can be dangerous if not respected or handled correctly. In addition to our year-long education and awareness initiatives, during August extra effort and focus is made to provide information to communities on how to identify unsafe electricity situations and what people should do when faced with unsafe electrical connections.
“Communities also feel the need to protect the connections that are made illegally.
“As a result, Eskom employees fear removing these illegal connections due to attacks from communities. Eskom strongly believes that when communities work with us, we can effectively tackle the problem of illegal electricity connections. By collaborating with residents, we aim to create a shared sense of responsibility and ‘Sinobuntu’ in caring about each other’s safety,” said Moahlodi.
Report illegal connections to Eskom at 08600 37566 (ESKOM) or send an SMS to the Eskom Crime Line at 32211.