Power restored to some Joburg areas

2013-09-06 08:39
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Power was restored in Lawley and Lenasia South on Friday while other parts of Johannesburg could be left in the dark over the weekend, City Power said.

"It will take a maximum of two to three days to restore power to all affected areas," City Power said.

It gave the same prediction on Thursday, but on Friday stressed that on-going work would see suburbs gradually restored over this period.

The power supply to parts of the West Rand and northern Johannesburg was disrupted when a few hundred City Power staff downed tools on Wednesday afternoon. City Power said the strike was not union-led.

The workers were unhappy about a new shift system the power distributor was implementing.

It was believed that the striking workers had sabotaged the infrastructure causing the widespread blackouts, which impacted on traffic flow and affected some businesses' operations.

One substation appeared to have been tampered with and at another the power equipment appeared to have been manually put down.

Police were investigating and security guards had been appointed to watch the stations.

City Power was using contractors to try and fix the problems.

Economic losses

It said that electricity had not yet been restored to Houghton Estate, where former president Nelson Mandela is recuperating, in a medical facility set up at his home, after his discharge from hospital at the weekend.

City Power provided a back-up generator to the vicinity of Mandela's home on Wednesday night, and this remained in place on Friday morning.

City Power's engineering operations director Louis Pieterse said in an interview on Radio 702 on Friday that the new shift system, which sparked the strike, was intended to cut costs associated with overtime.

"78% of the year falls outside normal working hours," he said.

As overtime was expensive. City Power believed that the funds saved through implementing a shift system could be better used, for example more people could be employed.

Pieterse said workers were not yet ready to negotiate on the matter.

"If staff were willing to talk, we could get to a solution."

On Thursday, Democratic Alliance spokesperson on infrastructure services in Johannesburg Denis Hunt said City Power's new shift system would result in a decrease in workers' take-home pay.

He also raised concerns that City Power was understaffed.

"The members of the DA sitting in the section 79 oversight committee have for months drawn attention to the perilously low level of staffing at City Power, in many areas being below the full complement by 50% and more.

"... In a market where competing for skills has become the norm and finding qualified people willing to work in these conditions is difficult, to introduce a working structure which reduces what the workers have come to expect is suicidal."

Hunt said the power problems could lead to economic losses in the city.

On Thursday afternoon, power had been restored to the Hursthill and Mayfair substations which supply Auckland Park, Bosmont, Crosby, Emmarentia, Mayfair, Northcliff, Rosebank, Riverlea and the Westdene areas; and to the Cydna and Alexandra and Gresswold substations which supply Athol, Alexandra, Bramley, Hyde Park, Melrose, Riverpark, Tsutsumani and the Wynberg areas.

On Friday morning, however, City Power said the supply to residents' homes in areas such as Northcliff was yet to be restored, despite progress towards this having been made.

- What is the situation in your area? Send us your eyewitness accounts

Read more on:    city power  |  nelson mandela  |  johannesburg  |  electricity

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
38 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.