Eskom

Electricity Safety Month campaign kicked off by Eskom. Photo: Eskom

Eskom runs Electricity Safety Month to Save Lives

Eskom says the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Limpopo have the most cases of illegal connections that result in accidents.

Eskom

Electricity Safety Month campaign kicked off by Eskom. Photo: Eskom

Eskom has embarked on a campaign to save lives from illegal connections this month, also budded as Electricity Safety Month in the power utility’s calendar.

ESKOM TAKING CHARGE OF SAFE ENERGY USAGE

According to Eskom, during August the power utility annually observes Electricity Safety Month to place public safety at the top of its priority list.
“To this end, Eskom is committed to fostering a culture of responsible electricity use to safeguard the interests of every individual in South Africa,” said the Senior Manager for Occupational Health and Safety at Eskom, Miranda Moahlodi.


“No one should underestimate the power of electricity. It 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.”

Moahlodi

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HOW ILLEGAL CONNECTIONS AFFECT SERVICE DELIVERY


One such example of an unsafe electrical hazard is illegal connections. Adding that these electrical connections are not only considered energy theft but are extremely dangerous.

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The snowball effect of illegal connection:

  • The rise of illegal connections impacts Eskom by overpowering the electrical system.
  • It also poses life-threatening consequences to innocent individuals, families, and the community, as well as livestock and wildlife that encounters the connection.
  • These connections are usually haphazardly executed, causing fires, electrocutions, and power outages, and even death, in worst-case scenarios.
  • This risk has also coincided with the rise in criminal activities such as damaging and vandalising infrastructure and theft of electricity cables.
  • Vandalism of infrastructure is a serious problem that leads to power outages and puts people’s lives at risk.

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WHY ELECTRICITY SAFETY MONTH IS IMORTANT

Reporting these unlawful activities can ensure that the power grids remain secure and reliable. “Electricity Safety Month is an important time to draw attention to the significance of electrical safety,” she said.

According to Moahlodi, 15 people have during this year lost their lives as a result of contact with electricity, with a further 147 people suffering electricity-related injuries. Three provinces namely, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Limpopo have reported the most cases. Eskom highlights the urgent need for action as these figures underscore the pressing need to collaborate and collectively address this issue with the communities.
“Communities also feel the need to protect the connections that are made illegally,” she explained.

“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,” Moahlodi concluded.

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