One of the biggest threats which Eskom faces is the rapid increase in illegal connections. These lead to revenue losses, overloading, and the failure of transformers and mini-substations.
Last year Eskom said meter tampering, electricity theft, and vandalism of infrastructure was a growing problem for the company.
Eskom vowed not to restore power to areas that have repeated failures due to illegal connections, meter tampering, and bypassing.
Eskom said it will only restore supply to legal and paying customers in the areas, on condition that the community allows Eskom staff to conduct audits and remove illegal connections.
“If we do not conduct the audits, we run the risk of continued failures without dealing with the root cause,” Eskom said.
A video has emerged which shows the extent of electricity theft and abuse of municipal and Eskom infrastructure.
EE Business Intelligence managing director Chris Yelland said there is nothing unusual about this blatant electricity theft in South Africa.
“Eskom and municipal electricity distributors are losing control of their assets and revenue streams,” said Yelland.
One of the problems is that organised syndicates provide houses with illegal connections and restore power to disconnected houses.
According to people behind the illegal connections, nothing will change while the price of electricity is too high for the poor to afford.
Electricity theft and abuse of infrastructure
The video below shows the blatant theft of electricity through illegal connections.