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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Eskom will not pay you R5k to report illegal connections

It does, however, encourage the public to report the incidents as they undermine its efforts to provide reliable electricity.

Eskom has dismissed reports that it will pay those who report illegal connections R5 000.

This after a social media post claimed: “Eskom will pay you R5 000 if you report a house that has bridged electricity. You can also report your parents and get that money.”

Although Eskom encourages reporting electricity theft, it unfortunately does not have the money to compensate tip-offs.

ALSO READ: Eskom piles on the misery as stage 4 load shedding to continue

“Eskom is aware of untrue news reports in circulation on various social media platforms alleging that Eskom compensates individuals for reporting households that have bridged their electricity meters, illegally connected, or operate on our network without authorisation,” said the power utility.

“Residents are urged to be alert and contact Eskom or Saps should they identify or know of someone tampering with the electrical infrastructure, or attempting to blackmail or extort unsuspecting victims who may have perpetrated the above listed criminal activities.”

The power utility has previously revealed that about 30% of its generating capacity is stolen or has not been paid for. That 30% is more than the deficit which results in load shedding. Eskom calls this nontechnical losses.

On average, the power utility reports generation ability at about 25 000MW, with a demand yardstick of 29 000MW to 30 000MW. It is close to a 5 000MW shortfall that plunges the country into darkness.

At 30% of capacity, non-technical electricity losses consume about 7 500MW of available capacity – more than the deficit that causes load shedding in the first place.

ALSO READ: Eskom’s stolen electricity is more than the deficit which results in load shedding

“Electricity theft cause outages, undermines Eskom in its mission to provide safe and reliable electricity, while depriving residents and businesses of electricity,” said the power utility.

The public can report theft and vandalism anonymously by contacting the Eskom Crime Line (0800 11 27 22) or the police.

Additional reporting by: Hein Kaiser

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