Illegal electricity connections: Five men arrested in Orlando East

Eskom says that police arrested five men in Orlando East this weekend for illegally accessing the power grid.


The power utility says the area is a hotspot for electricity theft in its various guises.

Orlando East a hotspot for illegal electricity connections


Three men were arrested on 30 May for tampering with an Eskom split meter box. The men had been caught in the act by community members who detained them and called police.


"The three men were apprehended in Orlando East, Soweto on 30 May 2020 for allegedly tampering with an Eskom split meter box where supply to approximately 20 households was interrupted due to a network fault," a statement from Eskom reads.
"The community members apprehended the suspects while they were busy with their illegal activities, and they were subsequently arrested by the South African Police Services (SAPS)."


The trio were charged with damage to essential infrastructure and are due to appear before the Magistrate's court in Soweto on Monday, 1 June 2020.  

Two more arrested for illegal electricity connections


In a separate incident on the same day in Orlando East, two men were arrested for allegedly tampering with meter boxes and illegally connecting to the Eskom network.


Eskom Security personnel on patrol caught the men in the act of hooking up an illegal connection.


"The Eskom security personnel caught the pair in action while on routine patrol in the area which is one of the hotspots associated with repeated equipment failure due to illegal connections, meter bypasses and overloading of the network which causes the failure and explosion of mini substations.


"Eskom continues to implement load reductions during peak hours in the mornings and evenings due to the network overloads, especially in areas with high population density and multiple and/or backyard dwellings. 
"In addition, Eskom will carry on to intensify its efforts to safeguard its assets and ensure they are preserved to operate optimally as per the intended purpose of provision of electricity to the residents and other essential services during this lockdown period. 
"The electricity infrastructure and assets remain the backbone of the economy that should be preserved for current and future electricity needs."

Power company commend community partners


Eskom have commended the community of Orlando East for heeding the call to partner them in the battles against illegal connections and operations. According to the power company, these activities are disruptive and lead to unnecessary prolonged outages.