Electricity theft is not just a township problem. It is a serious economic crime that occurs across all sectors of society and impacts all South Africans. Here’s what you as a consumer can do to help.
No sector is immune to the effects of electricity crime. Perpetrators of these crimes range from households in townships running illegal connections, or tampered meters in suburbs, to large power users in the various business sectors where power supply and meters are tampered with in a very sophisticated manner.
Consumer participation in combatting these crimes plays a vital role.
This is why Eskom established Operation Khanyisa in October 2010 and has made remarkable progress in the fight against electricity theft. They have since adopted a localised approach hinged on strong law enforcement including investigations, arrests and court cases, combined with meter auditing and customer education and awareness.
Part of the campaign is to engage with thousands of people through face-to-face household visits; workshops; community activities; activations and expos; traditional and social media. This has led to more than 17 000 tip-offs (from a base of zero) around suspected electricity theft from the public.
Here’s what consumers can do to help:
Only authorised Eskom personnel or qualified electricians may connect electricity and with permission from Eskom.
If you come across any illegal connections or electricity theft, report them to Eskom on 08600 37566 (ESKOM) or SMS Crime Line on 32211.
Illegal connections can cause grave danger to the communities around them. Children playing around areas where electrical cabling and wiring has been tampered with run the risk of being electrocuted.
If you see vandalism, report it to Eskom on 08600 37566 (ESKOM), warn others and keep away.
Operation Khanyisa’s key message is to encourage people to take a stand against electricity theft by sending tip-offs via SMS to Crime Line on the 32211 anonymous reporting service.
For more information, visit Operation Khanyisa.