Rogue vandals destroy Eskom installations in Soweto during violent protest against total blackout in the area.
Protesting Soweto residents have taken to the streets in their effort to force Eskom to aid them in getting connected to the power grid.
Currently, Soweto owes Eskom an estimated R17-billion, the largest debt owed to the state parastatal in history.
The community has made no effort to address this debt and it seems unlikely that Eskom will be shaken into conducting repair work and aiding Soweto to reconnect to the power grid.
On Wednesday morning, residents from Protea Glen, in Soweto, had trouble commuting to work. Most of the roads connecting to the R558 and N12 highway were blocked by burning tyres and rubble.
Groups of protesters could be seen starting fires and causing a row in the township. It has since been established that the disgruntled residents are calling on Eskom to provide them with electricity.
This has been an ongoing issue between the power utility and a few townships in Gauteng, especially in Soweto. Eskom has urged communities in the province to refrain from running illegal connections from substations and transformers.
too many connections to the transformers render irreparable damage to the mini substation that provides power to the community.
Eskom has, on countless occasions, warned that it can no longer repair damaged transformers in communities that are in debt with the utility because it just does not make financial sense to do so.
“Eskom has taken the decision that it will not be restoring power to areas that have repeated failures due to illegal connections, meter tampering and bypassing. Eskom will only restore supply to legal and paying customers in the areas on condition that the community allows safe access to Eskom staff to conduct audits and remove illegal connections,” the power utility noted in a statement.
Law enforcement officers were deployed to Protea Glen to bring calm to the situation and prevent further damage to state property.