Are network overloading and illegal connections responsible for power outages in Osizweni?

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Eskom has become aware of the significant rise in network overloading in the Osizweni area. An issue which is due to illegal connections.

In a statement, Eskom explains its technicians have identified a problem on the Vlaklaagte network breaker (NB43). This problem apparently affects Eskom’s clientele in the area, especially during the winter season.

“With the large number of illegal electricity consumers exerting strain on the network, which already supplies 4908 legal customers, the network is overloaded and there is also a voltage drop towards the end of the line,” Eskom explains.

What happens when there is a network overload?

According to Eskom, when there is a network overload, the power utility is forced to de-load it. This entails switching off the power to some of its customers. This then affects the Jakkalspan area at the end of the line.

Eskom says the leading cause of the network overload is the perpetual problem of illegal connections, meter bypasses, and other theft-related on its infrastructure. This all contributes to prolonged electricity interruptions, leaving their customers without electricity for days.

Eskom has undertaken load balancing and has increased settings to the maximum. However, the power utility adds these interventions will not be able to solve the problem. This is because the network cannot handle the load.

What is being done to minimise illegal connections?

Eskom states that it continues to try and protect the integrity of its network. This is done by auditing, removing illegal connections and fixing bypassed meters.

“We also urge our communities to help us manage the load by switching off appliances such as heaters, stoves and geysers when not in use, and to only use these when absolutely necessary, in order to help stabilise the network at a local level,” Eskom says.

As Eskom works on resolving the issue of illegal connections, be sure to report any illegal activities to the SAPS or to Eskom.

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