Premier slams ‘saboteurs’

2013-09-08 14:00

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane slammed the power outages that left large parts of Joburg in the dark for more than three days as “economic crimes and acts of sabotage”.

In an exclusive interview on Friday, a ­furious Mokonyane said: “This is an economic offence. For anyone to tamper with key points, it means you were out to sabotage the economy, not the City of Johannesburg, but this country. This is not just an ordinary act of frustration; it is an act of sabotage.”

Mokonyane, who has a generator at her official house in Bryanston, said she had ­received frantic calls from people affected by the blackouts.

“We have received calls from captains of industry, we have received calls from ordinary people, we have received calls from daycare centres, and we have received calls and emails from people who run frail-care institutions. All of them had assumed that it was just a technical fault. Everybody is complaining.”

City Power said the outages were caused by technicians who went on a wildcat strike after the power utility informed them that it was implementing a new shift system to prevent employees claiming excessive ­overtime pay.

Managing director Sicelo Xulu accused striking technicians of switching off substations as an act of revenge, affecting 20% of the city. They received about 30 000 calls.

Affected individuals and companies could lodge claims, he said, but they would only be paid if negligence could be proven against the company.

Five of City Power’s 10 substations were fully operational.

The remaining five were operating partially, he said, adding that the police have interviewed several employees, including technicians, and were formulating criminal charges.

Power outages in Gauteng

Join the conversation! 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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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 network.


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.