DURBAN - POWER utility Eskom said today that its technicians were working around the clock to repair damages that were caused when criminals vandalised equipment at four substations in KwaZulu-Natal over the past week.
Eskom said three substations had been vandalised in the Newcastle area – Blaauwbosch, Duck Pond and Stafford substations, while the Assagay substation in the Pietermaritzburg area was damaged yesterday.
It said that several areas had been affected by electricity outages due to the vandalism. These areas include Khwezi, parts of Madadeni and Osizweni in the Newcastle area, as well as Assagay, in Pietermaritzburg.
Eskom apologised for any inconvenience that may have been caused and thanked customers for their patience.
“Customers are urged to treat all installations as live, for safety reasons,” it said.
It said customers can call the Eskom Contact Centre on the Sharecall number: 08600 37566 for more information or updates on the outages.
Eskom’s general manager for KZN and Free State, Agnes Mlambo said the incidents had been reported to the police.
“Eskom appeals to communities of these areas to come forward with information that may help in apprehending the perpetrators,” she said.
Mlambo urged the public to help combat infrastructure theft, vandalism, illegal connections and other forms of electricity theft, by reporting any of these criminal activities to the Eskom crime line toll free number: 0800 112 722.
“These ongoing criminal acts pose the biggest threat to reliable electricity supply. This results in widespread unplanned power outages, which leaves a negative impact on the economy, society, as well as on Eskom’s already burdened financial situation,” said Mlambo.
She added that the inconvenience caused by the vandalism comes at a crucial time when children begin their new school year.
Eskom said communities need to create awareness around the problem of infrastructure vandalism, theft, and illegal connections.