Eskom says all nine of its employees have been safely rescued after they were held hostage by the community in Mabopane, north of Pretoria last night.

Police were called to defuse the situation. Residents were demanding the replacement of a damaged mini-substation in their area.

Gauteng Eskom spokesperson Amanda Qithi says none of the employees were injured.

“The hostage situation follows the community’s demands for a mini-substation replacement in their area. Eskom has experienced high incidents of equipment failure due to the network being overloaded through illegal connections, unauthorised operations to the network, meter bypasses, tampering and infrastructure vandalism. We are currently dealing with challenges of shortages of mini sub-stations which have led to delays in the replacement of these equipment.”