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Power struggle: Orange Farm residents accuse Eskom technicians of corruption

Several areas have been without power for months, while others have been in the dark for over a year.

FILE: City Power officials on 3 June 2020 disconnected illegal electricity connections at Phumula Mqashi informal settlement in Vlakfontein. The officials were joined by JMPD and SAPS officers. Picture: @CityPowerJhb/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – Orange Farm residents have called on Eskom to take responsibility for the electricity crisis in the township.

Several areas have been without power for months, while others have been in the dark for over a year.

This came after a high number of transformer failures.

With food rotting in the fridge, businesses going under, students having to study with candles, these disruptions have become the norm for hundreds of households in the community.

While Eskom was clear in its efforts to clamp down on illegal connections and damage to its infrastructure, Orange Farm residents are crying foul.

Some members of the community accused Eskom technicians of bribery, graft, and negligence.

Khanyile Goba, who resides in extension 8B, said that when they complained to the power utility that their transformer was making an unusual sound, the technician who came to inspect the problem offered a staggering solution.

“The transformer started to trip, and we called the technicians and they told us to take care of the problem ourselves. The transformer eventually exploded, and we are still without electricity,” Goba said.

Shilea Ngobeni claimed that Eskom technicians had taught the community how to bypass new meters and bridge electricity.

Eskom’s spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said they had been made aware of the allegations.

“We have had quite a lot of allegations and where we have had evidence, indeed Eskom has taken disciplinary action and meted out the appropriate sanction,” Mantshantsha said.

He added that the power utility was committed to rooting out corruption.

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