Eskom ready to restore transformers in Ivory Park

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Power utility Eskom on Wednesday urged the community of Ivory Park to cooperate with its staff in order to replace failed transformers in the area.

Eskom announced that it is ready to resume operations to replace failed transformers as a result of illegal connections and meter bypasses, which led to a network overloading.

“We would like to urge the community of Ivory Park to collaborate with Eskom to adequately deal with this matter by allowing us access to the area so that we can conduct audits, remove illegal connections, disconnect bypassed meters and issue fines for the contraventions. 

"The intention for the preceding activities is to avoid the repeat of damage to the equipment and electricity network,” said the utility’s Operations and Maintenance Senior Manager in the Gauteng Operating Unit, Motlhabane Ramashi.

Last week, Eskom met with Ivory Park councillors, officials from the City of Johannesburg and the local taxi association. The meeting was held in an effort to enable Eskom technicians to work safely in the area. However, the meeting collapsed as there was no agreement reached on the process to engage the community.

Eskom has a schedule and a plan in place that outlines how and when the replacements of failed equipment will be executed.  

“The said process is consistent with our operations, applies throughout Eskom Gauteng and will not be deviated from. Eskom is not in a position to continuously replace failed mini-substations and pole-mounted transformers in areas where the residents are not paying for their electricity,” said Ramashi.

The non-payment of electricity does not only impact on the security of supply for paying customers, but also contributes to increased energy and revenue losses, coupled with increased operational costs.

The non-payment further frustrates efforts to improve on Eskom’s financial and operational objectives, it said.

“The community of Ivory Park, surrounding areas and others in similar conditions in Gauteng are urged to collaborate with Eskom to ensure supply is restored and paid for. Eskom employee safety will take priority at all times and the community can assist by submitting a written commitment to Eskom guaranteeing its staff safety and non-interference while they perform their work,” said Ramashi.

In June, Eskom issued a notice saying that is has been forced to halt work on substation repairs as well as maintenance operations in Gauteng. This was due to safety concerns of staff and debt that is on the rise.

At the release of the utility’s 2018/19 integrated annual results at its Megawatt Park offices in Johannesburg in July, the utility -- which announced a net loss after tax of R20.7 billion in the year ended March -- said revenue was negatively impacted by non-payment by municipalities as well as tariffs that are not cost reflective. –