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Eskom employees held hostage by protesting community in Tshwane set free

Eskom has confirmed that its employees who were held hostage on Monday allegedly by protesting community members from Mabopane in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality “have been safely evacuated” by law enforcement agencies.

Community members from Morula View in Mabopane reportedly broke out in protest demanding that a mini-substation in the area should be replaced.

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The spokesperson of the power utility in Gauteng Amanda Qithi said: “Eskom has experienced high incidents of equipment failure due to the nature of being overloaded through illegal connections, unauthorized operations on the network, meter bypasses and tempering and infrastructure vandalism.”

Qithi added that Eskom is dealing with the issue of a shortage of substations which results in the delay of their replacement.

“The Morula View community is among customers who are unfortunately affected by the delays,” Qithi said.

Eskom is working with manufacturers to improve the turn around time so that it can replace substation equipment where needs be and ensure paying customers have electricity supply restored, Qithi added.

Qithi said none of the employees who were held hostage allegedly by the protesting community members in the area were injured.

“This hostage situation is condemned as we believe that issues can be resolved without threatening the lives of our employees. We urge communities to be patient with us as we work on resolving the mini-substation shortage issues. We also implore them to refrain from violence and criminal acts such as holding our staff hostage,” Qithi said.

Nine Eskom employees were reportedly held hostage and we’re rescued on Monday night.

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