Soweto power march ends peacefully

Johannesburg - A protest march against power cuts in Soweto ended peacefully on Thursday afternoon, despite an earlier threat that a group would try to hijack proceedings.

Several hundred Soweto residents, most of them dressed in the African National Congress's gold and green t-shirts, marched from Hector Pieterson Square to Eskom's offices in Diepkloof.

They sang struggle songs and many carried placards reading "March for Power".

SA Police Service and Johannesburg metro police officials escorted the marchers.

When they arrived at the parastatal's offices they handed over a memorandum demanding a public apology for the power outages last week which lasted more than 10 hours.  Eskom was given 24 hours to respond.

Nkosana Mvelane from Pimville said ANC members decided to take action because small businesses were suffering in the area.

"We want answers from Eskom. We understand load shedding, but we feel like Soweto is taking the brunt of it," Mvelane said.

"If we take action, people will see that the ANC is doing something."

ANC regional secretary Dada Morero said: "It is our responsibility to take the concerns of the people back to the parastatal."

A woman from Naturena nicknamed 'Black Diamond' said, "This will help. We want to be treated with dignity and respect by Eskom."

The residents had earlier been warned to not destroy property during the march.

SA National Civic Organisation official Oupa Radebe told the crowd that march organisers had heard that some people had "painted their faces red" and wanted to "hijack the march".

The threat failed to materialise.

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