Eskom assures customers closure of walk-in hubs will not affect them

Published Jun 28, 2024


Eskom has assured customers they will not be affected by the closure of the Bellville and Khayelitsha walk-in centres as they will open pop-up offices.

This is after the Mayco member for energy, Beverley van Reenen, expressed concern about the permanent closure plans and impact on customers in areas the power utility supplied following their quarterly bilateral meeting.

Van Reenen said: “It is our expressed view that the permanent closure of service hubs without adequate measures in place for all communities will affect access to electricity services for many Cape Town residents, particularly for the most vulnerable communities who rely on Eskom’s frontline services.

“The City was informed that Eskom intends ramping up public education on its Alfred chatbot for fault reporting and that there would be a USSD code option for customers who do not have access to the Alfred chatbot.

“While we welcome those measures in principle, the City is not convinced that they will provide sufficient access to all communities,” she said.

Van Reenen said there was a notable increase in power utility related complaints to City customer channels and their staff ended up grappling with service requests.

“The City believes the permanent closure of service hubs could not only worsen the situation but could also lead to public unrest. It is within that context that we ask for an immediate suspension of Eskom’s decision,” she said.

Eskom provincial spokesperson Kyle Cookson said there seemed to be some confusion as the facilities that were closed were stationary walk-in centres and not their technical centres.

“Through our pop-up offices, Eskom will be bringing its services closer to communities. As some customers choose to travel to Bellville or Khayelitsha hubs, this initiative will bring Eskom service agents into communities and closer to the customers’ doorstep.

“Regular updates about the pop-up offices will be posted on social media platforms for customers to diarise when we will be in their community. This new agile service offering has been recently used with success across the Western Cape,” said Cookson.

Cape Times