Eskom technician stabbed in face while attending to a fault

Eskom has again sounded the alarm over constant attacks on its technicians while they are out in communities repairing faults.

As the country battles to meet increasing power demands, Eskom technicians have to work around the clock to repair faults on ageing infrastructure.

They are dispatched to affected areas, often at short notice. But their jobs are growing more precarious with South Africa’s opportunistic criminals pouncing on the repairmen while they work.

Over the past three days, Eskom reported three separate incidents targeting technicians in the field, including a brutal attack where one member of staff was stabbed in the face and chest on Wednesday.

Technicians attacked

The technician was stabbed while he and his colleagues were installing meters in Nomzamo, Soweto. The employee was treated at a medical facility and is now recovering at home.

“We condemn such acts of violence against our employees in Gauteng where they are often assaulted, intimidated and placed in extreme situations such as being held hostage by some community members,” Eskom Spokesperson in Gauteng, Amanda Qithi.

In a separate incident, three armed thieves attacked and robbed a repairman while they were fixing a fault in the Mabopane Block E on Tuesday, 24 May 2022.

And, in another attack, two technicians were attacked by the three armed perpetrators while they were inspecting meter boxes in Mabopane Block E. 

“The perpetrators demanded their wallets and cell phones and took off in a vehicle without a registration number,” said Eskom in a statement.

Another technician was also robbed of a cell phone and money at a substation in Mabopane. 

“This display of aggression and violence by communities often leads to employees suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety,” said SHEQS Manager in Gauteng Kith Maitisa.

Delays to repairs

Eskom warned that criminal attacks have caused delays in repair work and project completion, which extends the period that residents spend without electricity.

The power giant has urged people who may be aware of any form of criminal acts to report them by calling the Eskom Crime Line on 0800 112 722 or the South African Police Services.

“The tip-offs can also be done anonymously.

“We have reported all these incidents to the Saps and we will co-operate with the police to assist with the investigations,” concluded Maitisa.

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