Eskom, South Africa’s power utility, has launched an investigation into corruption claims in the Dobsonville area.
The investigation was prompted by allegations made on social media by residents who claim that employees are colluding with a ward councillor to switch off and damage electricity infrastructure in order to demand payment for repairs.
Amanda Qithi, Eskom’s Gauteng spokesperson, confirmed that the power utility is taking these claims seriously and is conducting a thorough investigation.
She emphasized that Eskom condemns any threats made against its employees who are carrying out disconnections in accordance with the utility’s processes.
Qithi urged the community to treat Eskom employees as innocent until the allegations against them are proven true. She also emphasized that threatening someone’s life is a serious criminal offense and will not be tolerated.
The procedural disconnection of the electricity network in parts of Dobsonville is a result of low purchases of electricity, which has led to revenue and energy losses.
This process is not unique to Dobsonville but is implemented across Gauteng to prevent equipment failure and revenue loss in areas where there is a risk of electricity infrastructure exploding or failing due to illegal activities such as tampering, bypassing of meters, and illegal connections.
Qithi explained that the mini substations in Dobsonville were switched off as a preventive measure but were subsequently vandalized. To repair the vandalized electricity infrastructure, Eskom requires a minimum deposit of R500.00 from 60% of the affected customers.
This deposit goes towards the total remedial fee of R6052.00, which covers the cost of repairing illegal connections, meter bypassing, tampering, and purchasing electricity tokens from illegal vendors.
It is important for residents to note that Eskom does not handle cash payments at any of its offices, and none of its employees or contractors are authorized to collect electricity payments from customers.
Any requests for cash payments should be treated as suspicious and reported to the authorities.
Eskom remains committed to providing reliable electricity to communities and ensuring the safety of its employees. The investigation into the corruption claims in Dobsonville is a testament to Eskom’s dedication to maintaining transparency and accountability in its operations.