Tuesday, 16 March 2020

Deneysville: Eskom does not want members of the public to be injured or lose their lives because of the unsafe use of electricity. That was the message during a safety walkabout last Friday by Eskom’s Public Safety Unit in Refengkgotso, a community near Deneysville, in the Free State.

There have been four incidents which resulted in injuries to members of the community between 2019 and 2020. Two of the victims were children. A boy under 15 years of age made contact with a low-hanging conductor.

The line dropped due to vandalism on the structure. In the second incident, it was reported that a boy was playing next to a school with other children and the boy made contact with an exposed electrical cable.

The event forms part of an annual nationwide campaign to create awareness in communities where electricity-related incidents are rife.

The activation started off with a fun and educational programme at the Tjhaba-Tsohle Primary School, wherein learners were shown photographs of the unsafe connections in the surrounding environment.

The teachers were then taken on a walk to show them specific hazards in their community. These they could then share with the children and their families.

Eskom personnel took community members on a safety walkabout to show them the various dangers posed by unsafe and illegal electricity connections in their neighbourhood.

Low-hanging power cords in yards between structures, sub-standard wiring, damaged extension cords with exposed wires, are just some of the hazardous yet common practices which were identified along with the selling and buying of illegal prepaid vouchers and meter tampering.

This safety walkabout follows similar activations that were held in Selosesha and Bohlokong. There have also been a number of community forums convened in Refengkgotso with the aim of addressing electricity-related risks, these are complemented by an ongoing electricity safety education programme conducted by the Eskom Customer Service Hub in Vaalpark.

Lucas Mazibuko, Eskom spokesperson for Free State said: “We appeal to members of the community to work with us in our efforts to save lives by ensuring safe and legal connections in their homes and community. Reporting illegal activity relating to electricity use will also assist in preventing injuries and saving lives.”