Draftfcb campaign rolls out next phase to stop electricity theft


Draftfcb South Africa’s agency specialising in promoting behaviour change through social marketing, cause marketing and government communication campaigns has created a new integrated campaign to give additional impetus to Operation Khanyisa.

 A national partnership initiative aiming to mobilise all sectors of South African society to stand for legal power use and stop electricity theft, Operation Khanyisa was launched in October 2010.

Since then, the on-going project has achieved high levels of awareness with a constant flow of information via radio, print, online and outdoor advertising as well as community outreach and education programmes.

The initiative’s success can be most easily measured by the number of tip-offs received about illegal connections. To date, over 6 000 South African’s have blown the whistle, a number that pleases Draftfcb Social Marketing and Operation Khanyisa’s partners.

The latest phase of the communications strategy being rolled out by Draftfcb Social Marketing focuses once again on reporting theft.


It is also the first in South Africa to use the Newspaper Advertising Bureau’s (NAB) latest creative media tool, the Power Note or ‘onsert’. Resembles a ‘Post it’-type sticker, this is stuck on the newspaper’s front page, and carries the ‘news headline’ of Operation Khanyisa’s article, enticing people to read more inside, thus driving them to the messaging content.


Draftfcb Social Marketing has created six different articles to highlight the dangers of illegal connections and carry the call-to-action.


These messages are being reinforced by an internet campaign, magazine advertising, billboards, mobile advertising and numerous radio executions, all overseen by creative director, Loyiso Twala. Importantly, all the radio spots, and many of the other campaign elements, have been executed in all 11 South Africa’s official languages.


“Electricity theft is a serious problem – for Eskom, South Africa, business and industry, communities and residents,” said Draftfcb Social Marketing’s Qingqile (Wingwing) Mdlulwa.


“Energy losses suffered by Eskom due to electricity theft are around R1.2-billion per year. Add the losses suffered by municipalities, and South Africa loses an estimated R4.4-billion a year because of electricity theft.


“This impacts on future economic growth and sustainability, the quality and stability of electricity supply as well as the quality and stability of electricity supply.


“Draftfcb Social Marketing is utilising its social marketing expertise to affect change and contribute to a more sustainable and caring society. We’re delighted with the success of Operation Khanyisa to date, and look forward to making a more dramatic impact in the months ahead.”


In addition to Eskom and the core partners on Operation Khanyisa, the agency works closely with Old Mutual, PetroSA, Endeavour, Department of Trade and Industry, South African Sugar Association, Groot Constantia and National Student Financial Aid Scheme to change behaviour in other industries and communities around South Africa.


Additional information:


The core partners in Operation Khanyisa are Proudly South African (Proudly SA), Eskom, Business Against Crime (BAC), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and Prime Media Crime Line. 


AgriSA has joined to spearhead the campaign in the agricultural sector. Other organisations which have expressed interest in working with Operation Khanyisa are Telkom, Media 24, Shout SA, Metal Recyclers Association (MRA), the Association of Municipal Electricity Undertakings of South Africa (AMEU) and the South African Revenue Protection Association (SARPA).


During December 2011, in one of the biggest summer promotion campaigns ever, Operation Khanyisa reached more than 300 000 motorists at tollbooths on major routes. In February 2012, a comprehensive outdoor campaign took Operation Khanyisa’s messages to billboards, wall murals, building wraps, taxis, buses and bus shelters, street poles, supermarkets, airports, Gautrain stations, and on children’s play pumps.


More recently, residents in several townships have disconnected their illegal links to Eskom’s grid following Operation Khanyisa’s outreach at ground level to reduce the incidents of electricity theft and build a culture of legal, safe and efficient power use. In areas such as Moroke, for example, community members have removed illegal meters from their homes and handed these over to Operation Khanyisa campaign workers.



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