Eskom says it is working around the clock to fast-track repairs to damages caused during an attempted cable theft, which resulted in outages to customers in Bedfordview, east of Johannesburg.

It says power may only be restored in four to five days in the Ekurhuleni region.

Eskom spokesperson in Gauteng, Amanda Qithi says, “Construction work that entails digging stretches of trenches that will be supported (often referred to as shoring) to prevent the walls from collapsing and ensure employees’ safety during work has already commenced.”

“As previously indicated, due to the extent of damages caused by the attempted cable theft and vandalism of back-feeding oil-filled cables and electricity infrastructure, it is still estimated that supply could be restored within four to five days. Eskom is accelerating the repair process to ensure that supply is restored to the Bedfordview substation as speedily as possible.”

Meanwhile, Eskom in Limpopo says it’s investigating the power cuts which are taking longer than four hours in some communities in the province.

Some residents say they have been experiencing an eight-hour-long power outage on a daily basis for weeks.

Some of the affected areas are Ga-Sekgopo, Ga-Mathabatha, N’wamitwa, and Moroke.

Residents say the power utility is taking advantage of them as they live in rural areas.

Eskom’s customer relations officer, Matshidiso Phaladi, says they implement power cuts in areas where customers use more power than what they pay for.

“It is done throughout the country, Limpopo is not an exception. So if we realise that in one feeder, we are delivering so much energy, but the revenue that is coming is not equivalent to the energy that has been consumed, then we realise that customers in that particular feeder might have breached their meter number one, number two, they might have bought what we call ghost units. As a result, the revenue is not coming through. So, we are implementing this as a measure or one can call it a punishment to say customers correct your behaviour.”