Load shedding news – End electricity theft to relieve burden on citizens

23 April 2008

Curbing electricity theft would greatly ease pressure on the national grid, said the Democratic Alliance last Thursday.

“The amount of electricity that Eskom loses to illegal connections and other forms of theft equates to almost 10 percent of national demand,” said DA public enterprises spokesman Manie van Dyk. “This is the very same margin by which the electricity utility is asking the public to reduce its consumption”.

Van Dyk said a report showed that losses incurred through electricity theft and non-payment amounted to 3,690 MW.

“This exceeds Eskom’s goal of a permanent peak hour saving of 3,000 MW.”

He said Eskom should devote the same amount of time and resources to combating electricity theft as it did to campaigns for consumption cuts.

The DA would submit parliamentary questions about what steps were being taken to reduce electricity theft.

More inspections should take place more often and top technology should be deployed to monitor usage, to help reduce the theft.

Issues around revenue lost as a result of theft, fraud and bypassing meters should also be addressed. Van Dyk said – according to an Eskom representative – revenue lost through theft and fraud amounted to R1 billion in the last financial year.

With reporting from Sapa



  1. Yes I totally agree with the DA that theft has to be brought under control. What about a sort of “tip offs Anonymous” idea where citizens can send a report in knowing they are not going to be found out. This latter is what has to be emphasised as folk are really scared of retaliation and being found out, as is the (perceived) case for elections. Another point i feel very strongly about is that customers who pay before receiving power should be on a lower rate than those on accounts. In fact I would like to see ALL users on pre-paid meters. This makes one aware of consumption as well as the distributor having finance upfront. It is grossly unfair to pay upfront and still be penalised on rate of consumption. Level the turf for all!!

  2. Consumers using pre paid elctricit facilities have a right to be upset, as they have paid in advance and have therefor concluded a contract for the purhase of electricity with Eskom and is entitled to the service paid for. It seems that Eskom has argued that pre paid electricity consumers should pay more than other consumers! We will definitely be taking the matter up in the minerals and energy parlaimentary portfolio committee for discussion as it should be amended.

    The proposal on the “anonymous tips” idea seems a good one and will be forwarded to Eskom management for consideration and possible implementation.

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