Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
1 minute read
14 Sep 2021
7:37 am

Eskom hostage situation: Employees safely evacuated

Cheryl Kahla

Eskom called on community members affected by power outages to 'refrain from criminal and violent acts'.

Eskom logo in Bellville during the High Tariffs Must Fall Campaign on 12 August 2021. Photo: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

Eskom confirmed nine employees held hostage by the community of Morula View in Mabopane, Gauteng were safely evacuated by law enforcement officials.

Eskom hostage situation

Eskom spokesperson Amanda Qithi said the hostages were not injured.

Qithi said the hostage situation comes after the community’s demands for a mini substation in the area.

She said “Eskom has experienced high incidents of equipment failure” in the area as a result of the network being overloaded.

Network failure in Morula View

Illegal connections, unauthorised operations on the network, meter bypasses, tampering and infrastructure vandalism were cited as reasons for the network overloading.

“We are currently dealing with the challenges of the shortages of mini substations which has led to the delay in the replacement of this equipment.”

Qithi said the Morula View community was among customers “who are unfortunately affected by the delays”.

“We are working with the manufacturers for a faster turn-around time so that we are able to replace the faulty equipment and restore supply to our paying customers”.

‘Refrain from violent acts’

Qithi said Eskom condemned the hostage situation and believes “issues can be resolved without threatening the lives of our employees”.

She urged communities affected by shortage “to be patient with us” as Eskom works to resolve the mini substation issue.

“We also implore communities to refrain from criminal and violent acts such as holding our staff hostage”.

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