A Free State household in rural Jacobsdal has been left without electricity for almost two weeks. Queeneth Sebaku, a domestic worker in Cape Town, told IspotDaily that her household has been without electricity for almost two weeks since her power supply miraculously stopped on Friday, 16 December 2022.
According to Sebaku, she arrived home in the early hours of Friday 16 December 2022, however during the evening of her arrival her power supply stopped transmitting electricity to her household. “On arrival home, I arrived with three boxes of samosas, and later purchased one sheep and a goat” she said.
In an interview, Sebaku informed us that her isolated meter fault has been reported to Eskom on various occasions per reference numbers: 598973114, 599134878 and 597079536 respectively.
Despite various SMS messages indicating that field staff has resolved the issue, Sebaku claims that no field staff has responded to the fault since the first report on Monday, 19 December 2022.
Eskom electricity outage aftects Mom’s health
When we spoke to Sebaku’s neighbors, they told the publication that she (Sebaku) has been requesting assistance to cook from them since power supply problems started.
“It is becoming extremely irritating to have a second family cook using our supplies, we really can’t sustain this.We just have to stick it out until our neighbors get power supply restored” said Lilice Louw, a neighbor who assists the household with cooking facilities.
“Queeneth showed us SMS messages from Eskom indicating that the power supply has been restored. However, as someone who stays just opposite the household, I can confirm that no Eskom staff has been despatched to assist with the fault.” she adds.
According to Sebaku’s son, Jermaine Sebaku, the matter affected them adversely in that they can now only have one meal per day, and all their meat has been spoiled.
“One bag of chicken, a sheep and goat has been spoiled amongst other’s since the fridge can’t work without electricity” he said.
The son also claims that his mother is a chronic patient and the interruption of meals could have adverse effects to his mother’s health.
Eskom Responds to the fault
In an email that responds to Sebaku’s claims, Titi Makhetha, Eskom Stakeholder Relations and Communication Practitioner for the Central East Cluster confirms that the fault was first reported on 19 December 2022.
She adds that following a storm that occurred in the area, Eskom experienced several faults due to power supply lines that were damaged.
“The terrain was wet, and not conducive to an immediate response to the faults reported in the area” she adds.
Makhetha further indicates that the wet terrain had a negative impact on Eskom’s response time. “Our field staff continued to work tirelessly to see to it that all faults were being attended to” she said.
Makhetha revealed that when a group of Eskom customers that are fed from the same line report a fault on the same day, some faults are automatically closed.
She also added that the Eskom system view the faults as general faults that has affected multiple customers, thus when the fault is fixed or cleared, an automated SMS response is generated and sent to notify the customers, and to notify those that are still without power supply to report again.
“All reference numbers related to that line fault are automatically closed by the [Eskom] system as completed. Unfortunately, this is what happened to the affected customer [Sebaku]” she said.
She adds that “Sebaku’s electricity supply fault was part of a fault that affected multiple customers, however, we apologise for the inconvenience caused and assure the customer that we will priorotize the repair of this fault.”
Makhetha committed that the Sebaku’s power supply will be attended to and restored on Friday, 06 January 2023.
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