Eskom blames illegal connections for Soweto power failures


JOHANNESBURG, July 20 – Parts of Soweto have gone without electricity for several days, but Eskom has simply said there is nothing it can do because the power failures are caused by “illegal connections”.

Residents of Zola, Emndeni, Zondi, and Mofolo residents have taken to social media to vent their frustrations about the power failures, which began more than a week ago.

On Friday electricity supplies had not yet been restored.

“The whole of Zola has been without electricity … ,” said resident Slindile Zwane, adding “I came back from work at 7 pm. When I was about to cook the electricity just went off. I can’t afford to buy takeaways so I had to go to bed hungry.”

Another Zola resident complained about having to expose her child to winter with no heating. “I have a 10-month-old baby, he is having to face the cold weather”.

Asked for an explanation, Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe on Friday said: “There is nothing that Eskom can do to help … what causes power cuts in Soweto its illegal connections … we have been urging people to stop connecting illegally”.

He said Soweto residents did not complain to Eskom about the power outages because they generally did not pay for the service.

The power utility is owed about R 5 billion in unpaid bills by Soweto residents.

– African News Agency (ANA)