Eskom has temporarily withdrawn its services in Orlando East in Soweto after violent attacks and damage cause to Eskom vehicles on Thursday.
“Our employees were conducting disconnections for non-payment in the area when they were attacked by violent members of the community who in the process, also damaged our vehicles,” the utility stated.
“The safety of Eskom employees remains a major concern at this stage, and the matter has been reported to the police for further investigation,” said Eskom senior manager for customers services in Gauteng Daphne Mokwena.
“Eskom encourages customers to pay for their electricity consumption to avoid disconnections and failure of transformers as a result of the overloaded networks.”
The utility condemned the violent behaviour and urged communities to collaborate with it and their ward councillors to deal with electricity-related matters.
“Services will resume when the power utility deems it safe for its employees to work in the area,” the utility stated.
Earlier in the day, Eskom tweeted photos which appeared to show an Eskom bakkie’s tires were slashed during the violent altercations.
We have temporarily withdrawn services in Orlando East following violent attacks against our employees and damage caused to Eskom property. Services will resume when it’s safe for our employees to work in the area. pic.twitter.com/XKtQJc6LSW
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) April 22, 2021
This is not the first time Eskom has pulled its services from a location due to violence against its employees.
In July 2020, it suspended operations in Khayelitsha in Cape Town after one of its vehicles was stoned and set alight.
#EskomWesternCape has suspended operations in Khayelitsha, Cape Town with immediate effect after an Eskom vehicle was stoned and set alight.
We will continue assessing the risk and provide an update when the situation has changed. pic.twitter.com/d6muxTWGr1
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) July 20, 2020