Residents of Zwezwe in Khayelitsha can expect prolonged delays in having their electricity problems fixed after Eskom suspended its operations immediately following the hijacking and robbery of employees.
Workers were busy fixing electricity in the area when they were accosted by three unknown suspects who robbed them of their belongings and took the company vehicle, a Ford Ranger bakkie at gunpoint and sped off, according to police.
No suspects have been apprehended.
The incident on Sunday has forced Eskom to withdraw its services meaning that there will be a much greater delay in electricity restoration efforts with affected customers likely to experience a longer period without electricity.
Eskom general manager Mbulelo Yedwa said the safety of their employees was a priority.
“We urge the community to take a stand against crime and come forward and report any criminal activity against our staff or our infrastructure. The safety of our staff is non-negotiable, and if any violence or harassment continues, we will prioritise other electricity supply areas where their safety is guaranteed,” said Yedwa.
“Eskom senior management and its internal security services will engage the South African Police Service (SAPS) and local community leadership regarding the incident and find solutions to ensure the safety of staff before services may resume,” Eskom said in a statement.
Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said a car-jacking case was being investigated.
Harare ward councillor Ayanda Tetani said he reported the robbery to the police.
“I received a call about an area that had an electricity outage. Eskom employees were fixing the transformer. It is alleged that three men armed with guns appeared on foot, they hijacked a service car and tried to take the driver with them, but he was able to escape,” said Tetani.
Anyone with information about the incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 0860 010 111 or use the MySAPS app.