Michele du Plessis
Eskom embarked on a countrywide campaign, the National Electricity Safety Month, in an effort to reduce electricity-related injuries and deaths across the country.
Every year people die or suffer serious injuries due to electricity-related issues. The main cause has been illegal connections which are extremely dangerous. There is poor insulation, the wires touch other metal objects, such as shacks or fences which become energised. Vandalism of electrical equipment like mini subs, exposed electrical wiring, low-hanging cables, electricity/cable theft, meter tampering or bypassing are problems also experienced in Sabie.
“Our major concern in the case of illegal connections is that danger is posed not only to the people who make the connections but also to the rest of their community, particularly children and animals. Moreover, these connections unfairly inconvenience law-abiding and paying customers as they often cause power failures due to overloading of the network,” explains Alex Stramrood, Eskom’s Corporate Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Manager.
“One person losing their life or getting injured because of the unsafe use of electricity is simply one too many, especially because these are avoidable incidents. We as Eskom want to eliminate all injuries and fatalities caused by electricity and ask communities to help us in this continuous battle. We know what the biggest causes of these dangerous incidents are and therefore appeal to all South Africans to assist us by not connecting illegally and making sure that all electrical cables and appliances in the home are safe and in a good condition,” says Stramrood.
Report any unsafe conditions or connections by calling 08600 ESKOM (37566).