Eskom launches new safety campaign

Eskom launches new safety campaign

Eskom will launch a countrywide campaign on Monday to educate the public on safe electricity use. 

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Public fatalities and injuries due to the unsafe use of electricity remains a major problem, the electricity parastatal said in a statement.

“The majority of these incidents are related to contact made with electricity and illegal connections. Most disturbing is the fact that many of those killed or injured were children,” it said.

In an effort to reduce these public safety incidents, Eskom would embark on a week-long countrywide campaign from Monday to Sunday to educate South Africans about using electricity safely and responsibly. The major problem areas were the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Limpopo.

During the annual Eskom national electricity safety week, Eskom officials would visit certain parts of the country to engage the public and highlight the dangers associated with the unsafe use of electricity.

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The Eskom national electricity safety week would kick off in Gauteng. The aim was to make communities aware of the basics of safe electricity usage and the risks associated with electricity theft, meter tampering, bypassing, and illegal connections. The power utility wanted people to know how to identify the dangers and what to do if or when they spotted them.

“We occasionally get reports of people being injured or losing their lives as a result of the unsafe use of electricity. As Eskom, we want to get to a point where we eliminate all injuries and fatalities caused by electricity, hence we are going to the communities to ask them to help us in this fight. We are aware of the biggest causes of these incidents and would like to appeal to our consumers to assist us by avoiding connecting illegally or making contact with low-hanging cables,” Eskom corporate occupational health and safety senior manager Jace Naidoo said.

Through this campaign, Eskom also sought to encourage all community members to report any unsafe conditions or connections they came across by calling 08600 ESKOM (37566). This included any cases of dangerously exposed or low hanging cables, illegal connections, vandalism, cable theft etc.

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“In the case of illegal connections, danger is posed not only to the people who connect to the Eskom network illegally, but also to the rest of their communities. Moreover, the illegal connections draw more electricity from the network than anticipated, which causes power failures and inconveniences to law abiding paying customers,” Naidoo said.

“Eskom wants to remind all South Africans that, although electricity is an essential part of life, it can be dangerous if not used correctly. It is always advisable to get a qualified electrician to do any electrical connections or repairs. Only authorised Eskom employees and contractors are permitted to work on all Eskom structures.”

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