Eskom conducted a community walk to create awareness about the safe and legal use of electricity in Ga Madiseng village near Burgersfort, Limpopo.
The 1.2km walk which started at Nthame Primary school was part of Eskom’s national public safety campaign – #SkaBaiza – where schools and communities across the country are being taught how to use electricity safely. Eskom placed warning signs along the route to highlight the dangerous areas such as exposed wires and illegal connections in the Madiseng community.
Sadly Limpopo province reported the third highest incidents for 2017 / 2018 due to direct contact with unsafe and illegal connections.
Matshidiso Phaladi, Customer Relations Manager from Eskom Sekhukhune Area, said illegal connections are the main challenge in the community. These connections have caused the death of one youth in a nearby village and several injuries among members. She noted that this is because of frustration and desperation for electricity connections, which need to be executed by the local municipality.
She also said it is difficult to combat the issues since community members do not report incidents.
“Eskom believes that communities must be encouraged to play a role in saving their own lives as well as the lives of others, by sharing information on the dangers associated with the unsafe use of electricity. It is a means of invoking active citizenship and empowering people with the know-how of using this energy source with care” she said.
“It is important that people don’t underestimate what electricity can do to you if you use it unsafely and do not respect it. Through ongoing efforts, Eskom aims to raise awareness by giving communities information on how to identify unsafe situations around electricity, knowing what to do and what not to when faced with an unsafe electrical connection and knowing what may occur in these situations”, she added.
Community members had the opportunity to attend the activation to raise their concerns regarding electrification.
“The electrification process is complex and lengthy and illegal connections and theft further delay this process unnecessarily. Eskom is connecting more than 200 000 customers each year. Your turn is coming, just be patient,” said Matshidiso.