Campaign to protect Eskom transformers

Friday, May 17, 2024

As the winter season approaches and temperatures plummet, Eskom is launching a campaign under the theme ‘Save Your Transformers, Save Lives’.

According to the power utility, over 2 000 transformers across the country are overburdened due to illegal connections and tampering, which leads to overloading and explosions. 

“This situation can result in extended periods without electricity in communities,” the utility said in a statement on Thursday. 

In the past 12 months, Eskom said it spent over R300 million replacing failed transformers and mini-substations, without any revenue for its efforts. 

“This threatens the ability to deliver on its mandate to supply quality electricity to its customers.” 

The call-to-action campaign, Eskom said, urges electricity users to reduce their consumption to ease the load on the power system and prevent related injuries. 

The utility also warned that several safety incidents and equipment failures are directly linked to these unlawful activities. 

They, according to Eskom, not only endanger lives but also disrupt supply continuity and cause extensive damage to transformers and related infrastructure. 

Meanwhile, illegal connections, network equipment theft, vandalism, meter bypasses, unauthorised network operations, purchasing electricity from illegal vendors, and indiscriminate electricity use significantly burden network equipment.

“As the load increases, transformers can fail and explode, posing serious safety risks to unsuspecting members of the public, potentially resulting in injuries and fatalities. The failure of transformers, mini-substations, and other equipment also causes great inconvenience to customers, as replacements can take days to months, given the frequency of such damages.” 

This is the reason that members of the public can contribute to the ‘Save Your Transformers, Save Lives’ campaign by refraining from illegal connections and promoting responsible energy practices. 

“This will help protect lives, safeguard property, and maintain the reliability of the electrical infrastructure,” Eskom added. –