Attacks on Eskom technicians condemned

State power utility Eskom says it is concerned with violent attacks on its technicians carrying out critical inspections and repairs in public spaces.

At least three separate incidents of violence and robbery against Eskom technicians have been reported over the past week, with one resulting in a stabbing.

“Two technicians were attacked by 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. In a separate incident in Mabopane, a technician was also robbed of a cell phone and money at a substation.

“On [Wednesday], another technician was stabbed while he and his colleagues were installing meters in Nomzamo, Soweto. The technician, who was stabbed in the face and chest, was treated at a medical facility and is recovering at home,” Eskom said.

Eskom Gauteng Safety, Health, Environment, Risk and Quality Manager, Kith Maitisa, said the attacks on the power supplier’s technicians cause both physical and mental damage.

“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.

“This display of aggression and violence by communities often leads to employees suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. It also results in delays in repair work and project completion, further extending the period that residents spend without electricity.

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