File picture: Reuters
File picture: Reuters

Eskom workers freed after being held hostage by Gauteng residents

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Sep 14, 2021

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Johannesburg – Nine Eskom workers have been evacuated after being held hostage by residents in Mabopane, north of Pretoria.

Eskom said in a statement on Monday night its workers had been held against their will by Morula View residents, who were demanding a mini substation be replaced in their community. The workers were evacuated by law enforcement agencies.

The power utility admitted it was facing a shortage of mini substations.

’’Eskom employees held hostage by the community of Morula View, Mabopane, have been safely evacuated by law enforcement agencies. This was due to delays caused by mini-substation shortages faced by Eskom. Such criminal acts are condemned.

’’Eskom has experienced high incidents of equipment failure due to illegal connections, unauthorised operations on the network, meter bypasses and tampering and infrastructure vandalism,’’ Eskom said.

In June last year, Eskom employees were held hostage by residents in Zonkizizwe, Ekurhuleni. Two of its technicians were forced to restore a transformer that had been shut down due to non-payment and illegal connections.

The technicians managed to escape after more than an hour. One of the technicians, who lived in the area, was followed home by a crowd, who surrounded his house.

The power supplier had been implementing load reduction in a number of areas in Gauteng to avoid overloading in ’’high-density areas that are prone to illegal connections, meter bypasses and vandalism of electricity infrastructure’’.

IOL

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