HE preaches light to his congregation, but he has found himself in the dark.

Bishop Abraham Nelushi of The Risen Christ Ministries at Phase Extension in the North West has been without electricity for almost six months.

He told Daily Sun their transformer, which supplies about 42 houses in the area, exploded in August.

“We are living in difficult conditions. Living in darkness has exposed residents to crime,” he said.

The bishop said he even had to stop a feeding scheme in his church as there was no electricity.

“We plead with Eskom to replace the broken transformer so we can have our lives back.”

Resident Augustina Motau (66) said they didn’t have money to buy paraffin or gas stoves.

“We are suffering because we don’t use fridges to keep our food anymore,” she said.

Eskom spokeswoman Ronel Kotze said the utility was aware that the failed transformer wasn’t replaced.

She said following the explosion of the transformer, Eskom did an audit and found poor buying history.

“The audit process includes, but is not limited to the inspection of metre boxes, the removal of illegal connections, metre bypasses and the issuing of remedial fines to customers who are found to have tampered with the infrastructure. A full payment of R6 052,60 is to be made by customers issued with remedial fines,” she said.

She said a remedial fine is not payment to fix the electricity infrastructure as Eskom did not require any form of payment from customers to have its network fixed.

“It may take up to three months after the audit process is finalised to have the electricity infrastructure replaced or repaired. The work involved in the transformer replacement or repairs will depend on the availability of material and resources required,” said Kotze.