Eskom has announced that it will no longer be conducting substation repairs and maintenance in areas of Gauteng where payments are not being made.
Due to violent protests in the province and illegal connections in certain residential areas there has been major damage to the infrastructure.
Eskom cannot afford to repeatedly replace mini substations and pole-mounted transformers due to illegal connections from the increasing informal settlements.
Residents in the Braamfischer and Klipsruit areas in Soweto, Ivory park in Ekhurhuleni, Orange Farm in Johannesburg South and Winterveldt in Tshwane often bypass their meters and connect themselves directly to the network by vandalising the electricity substations.
These illegal connections cause sporadic power supply and often overload the transformers, especially during winter, which causes the transformer to explode or catch alight.
Eskom employees who go out to check these substations are often intimidated and there have been instances where their offices have been blockaded and workers held hostage by the community.
The power utility has therefore stated that due to concerns over employees safety as well as the financial implications of the repairs and the lack of payments received from these areas, they will no longer be able to replace infrastructure to these areas until the areas are declared safe for operation.
Eskom has urged the communities to collaborate with them and their councillors in order to deal with any electricity related matters.