If you currently have electricity and also not affected by Eskom’s Load Reduction. Count yourself lucky.
The Community of Kaalfontein Ext 4 is approaching a month since they last had home cooked food, watched television or a had a nice warm bath.
A number of communities in Kaalfontein, Allandale, Ebony Park (KAE) and Ivory Park have not had electricity in weeks.
In most cases, the reason for the power outages is failure of Eskom equipment. This is caused by overloading, illegal connections and metre bypassing. Eskom has noted a significant rise in network overloading resulting from illegal connection across high density areas of Gauteng.
KAE is one of those areas. The overloading is also caused by multiple backrooms. KAE has more tenants than property owners. The ratio of tenants to property owners in KAE is 5:1*
The result of the overloading is the failure and sometimes explosion of electrical infrastructure such as transformers and mini substations.Eskom’s official response is that it “is not in a position to continually repair damaged equipment caused by overloading and illegal connections.” According to an unnamed Eskom official, the cost of a transformer is approximately R75,000.00.
On Thursday, members of the community held a protest action close to Archerfish Crossing, Boxer. The road was closed off. This was deja vu of scenes from last year when the community barricaded roads with burning tyres until Eskom conducted an audit, removed illegal connections and disconnected meter bypassing.
After countless Reference Numbers from Eskom. The community decided to visit Eskom at Megawatt Park today, 26 June 2020, together with the Ward Councillor of Ward 111 Raisibe Matsemela.
According to a WhatsApp message sent by the Councillor, a total of 25 transformers need to be replaced. Members of the community having problems with electricity can contact the Councilor. There’s forms which need to be sent back to Eskom to attend to the power outage issue.
Community Leader, Thapelo Tlaka who was part of the delegation to Eskom said “The time for small thinking is over. All people must struggle, state, community, workplace, education etc. People must influence their government. Participatory democracy is not only about elections. The people must participate. We demand electricity in kaalfontein.”