Sorry, we can't answer your call right now - Eskom staff are at a Xmas lunch

A frustrated Johannesburg resident got an unexpected response at the Morningside Eskom depot when he asked why his calls were going unanswered.
A frustrated Johannesburg resident got an unexpected response at the Morningside Eskom depot when he asked why his calls were going unanswered.
Image: Prapan Ngawkeaw/123RF

An exasperated Johannesburg resident, who had been without electricity for two days, went to the Morningside Eskom depot on Friday to enquire why his logged complaint had not been answered - only to find the technical staff were having a Christmas luncheon.

He was told they would go back on duty when they finished at 4pm.

Numerous questions to the national and provincial Eskom spokespersons as to whether a Christmas party had hindered repairs to the power supply went unanswered. Instead the response that TimesLIVE received was that customers should not visit depots and that the fault had been fixed.

Several Morningside residents confirmed on Saturday that the power had indeed been restored - 46 hours later.

National spokesperson Dikatso Mothae said on Friday she was not aware of a Christmas party, but would get Gauteng spokesperson Reneiloe Semenya to contact TimesLIVE.

Semenya said on Saturday: “Eskom has been working around the clock to restore supply across Gauteng. Due to persistent rains, we have experienced extended outages caused by network faults. Our technical teams are working towards closing all the backlogs to restore supply to affected areas including Morningside and surrounding areas.”

She was asked five times if there was a Christmas party at the depot. The question went unanswered, but each time she reiterated that technicians had been dispatched for all work orders.

“We did not experience any disruptions of service as we worked according to schedule.

“Eskom focuses on the services it renders and schedules employees accordingly, therefore I would like to confirm that our operations are continuing as they should and as we speak, we have closed the majority of the backlog and supply has been restored,” Semenya said.

“We have put facts about services we render and have confirmed that we did not have any disruptions to customers ... Network fault was the cause of the outages. We need to have power to be able to identify and operate networks safely. When we are implementing load-shedding it is not safe to operate, hence we have experienced some delays in restoring supply, that we have since resolved.

“ ... We encourage the customers to utilise the customer services hubs not depots. We use schedules to dispatch technicians that are standby and we have done so without any hindrances.”

Meanwhile the resident who made the call to the depot in Morningside said he had gone there because the service hub he had visited was closed. “It was two days of Eskom not taking my calls only to find out everything was on hold because of a party.”


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