For the past 15 years, Eskom had R2 billion worth of electricity disappeared annually unaccounted for.
The Zimbabwean government had been powering almost half of their country from illegal connections and Eskom had been trying to figure out where the lost electricity is actually going without success until the past weekend.
Zimbabwe had an Electricity deal with Eskom in which they are defaulting by over R300 million rands which is nothing compared to the electricity they had been stealing for years without Eskom’s knowledge.
Here is how Eskom discovered more than 10 illegal connections that crossed the Limpopo river.
The Zimbabwean government had targeted power lines and sub-stations near the Limpopo river. They ran their connections underground into the Limpopo river and then into their country.
Over the years Eskom had learned that whenever there is load shedding in parts of Limpopo near the border some areas in Zimbabwe get affected too but that was not enough for and investigation.
It appeared that someone did not pass the torch in the electricity department in Zimbabwe that the new Zimbabwean electricity authorities started complaining to Eskom to at least inform them when there is load shedding coming up. Eskom does not do load shedding on the electricity they sell legally to Zimbabwe. That was the first red flag.
Now after the recent heavy rains, some of the connections were mess up under the Limpopo river they asked Eskom to assist and that’s when the 15-year long theft was discovered.