Electricity theft is costing South Africa's State-owned power utility Eskom losses amounting to about 20 billion Rand (about 1.49 billion USD dollars) a year.
Eskom said here Thursday that in partnership with Operation Khanyisa, the national partnership campaign it set up to fight electricity theft and related energy losses, it had intensified its fight against illegal connections in identified hot spots in the provinces of Limpopo, North West, Free State, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
The Nkomazi municipality in Mpumalanga Province is one of the areas considered a hotspot, for illegal connections. Those who are taking part in the crime, often disregard the dangers. Despite the dangers, there is no stopping the thieves.
"What we can do? We need electricity, yes it is dangerous but what can we do? They do not bring service delivery to us," said a resident.
Another resident added: "We have fridges and now what are we going to do? We need electricity."
In the Nkomazi area alone, more than 52 per cent of the power is stolen, leading to the loss of revenue.
Eskom spokesperson Arthur Smith said: "Eskom loses 20 billion Rand yearly, but the big issues is the loss of lives, here (Nkomazi), nine people have died in that last nine months."
The blitz will be extended to other provinces.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.