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Joburg in new drive to end electricity-related deaths Print E-mail
04 August 2017


National power utility Eskom, the City of Johannesburg’s Citizen Relationship and Urban Management (CRUM) Department, the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) have jointly embarked on a month-long campaign to reduce the number of electricity-related injuries and deaths.

The National Electricity Safety Month Campaign kicked off at the Protea South Primary School in Soweto, Region G, on Tuesday August 1 and will be wrapped up on August 30.

The City’s Region G Deputy Director Hilda Mkhwanazi said the campaign was “a good opportunity and proper platform” to educate residents about the safe use of electricity, discourage them from connecting power illegally and encourage them to pay for services rendered.

Mkhwanazi said the region had decided to rope in the EMS and JMPD to share with residents and school learners information about the dangers of illegal connections and fire. Representatives of the two entities also gave presentations on road safety, pedestrian crossing and scholar patrols.

“We as a region decided to focus on Protea South as there has been a high number of illegal connections and incidents of vandalism of Eskom and City infrastructure in the area,” she said.

Eskom Customer Services Manager Solly Matebula said last year alone there were 53 fatalities and 151 injuries reported nationwide. Six of the deaths and 34 of the injuries were reported in Gauteng.

Matebula said illegal connections were a major cause for concern. “Illegal connections are extremely dangerous. When uninsulated or poorly insulated live wires come into contact with other metal objects, such as corrugated iron sheets or fences, they get energised.”

He said Eskom wanted residents to know how to notice dangers and what to do in case of an emergency.

“Losing a life because of the unsafe use of electricity is one life too many, especially because such deaths can be avoided. We want to eliminate all injuries and fatalities caused by electricity. We are appealing to communities to help us in this battle by not connecting electricity illegally and ensuring that all electrical cables and appliances are safe and in good condition,” Matebula said

He encouraged all community members to report any unsafe conditions or connections to 08600 ESKOM (37566).
These, he said, included exposed electrical wiring, low-hanging cables, illegal connections, vandalised electrical equipment and cable theft.

Johannesburg EMS Chief of Public Information, Education and Relations Synock Matobako urged residents not to leave children unattended as this might put them in danger. He said residents must switch off all electrical appliances before going to bed and should always have a bucket of water and another of sand at their disposal in case of a fire.

JMPD’s Lesedi Mogweng said bullying of children in school manifested itself in different forms. He said these included emotional, verbal, physical and cyber bullying. The latter is committed using social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

He urged parents to always monitor their children’s cellphones to see if they are not communicating with strangers who might turn out to be paedophiles or serial killers.

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Last Updated on 04 August 2017