Eskom has withdrawn services in Harare, Khayelitsha with immediate effect, after intimidation.
The power utility says gangsters are insisting that Eskom operators vacate or a pay protection fee of R20 000 per month in order for Eskom to work in the area.
This extortion fee was also demanded from contractors working in Harare.
A statement by Eskom’s regional Acting General Manager, Mbulelo Yedwa, reads:
We have criminals that are tripping Eskom infrastructure and in return ask the community to pay an amount of R30 to reconnect them.
Furthermore, it has come to Eskom’s attention that there’s a syndicate illegally connecting people at an amount of
R1500 per household.
These activities are severely straining the Eskom network especially during peak times when transformers are overloaded.
Eskom has introduced load reduction which is an initiative aimed at protecting Eskom’s assets by reducing load during peak hours in high density residential areas, which are overloading the network.
We are currently engaging community leaders and business forums in order to find solutions to resolve the matter.
The safety of our employees cannot be compromised and therefore Eskom has withdrawn services from Harare, Khayelitsha until community leaders and the South African Police Services can guarantee that it is safe to return.