Power sabotage was 'terrorism' - MEC

2013-09-06 19:13
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - The actions of employees involved in turning off power at sub-stations around the city was equal to terrorism, Gauteng Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko said on Friday.

"We are angry as a provincial government, and what has happened was equal to an act of terrorism," Mazibuko told reporters.

She said the matter was being investigated by various agencies, including the Hawks.

Mazibuko said the people behind the power disruptions had endangered people's lives.

City Power's managing director Sicelo Xulu said it had realised that switches at a number of sub-stations had been tampered with.

"There was no forced entry, and that simply means that someone turned them off," said Xulu.

He said that City Power had put in place security measures at sub-stations around the city to ensure the disruptions did not happen again.

Xulu said some of the areas still affected included Lenasia, Alexandra, Randburg and some areas in the Johannesburg CBD.

Criminal charges

"The process of laying criminal charges has been undertaken," said Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau.

He said the labour relations process had to be respected, but that a situation where residents were deprived of electricity could not be allowed.

Earlier in the day City Power management updated him on the restoration of electricity in some parts of Gauteng.

Power was disrupted in parts of the West Rand and northern Johannesburg after 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 being implemented

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

Power had been fully restored by noon to areas including Houghton and Melville by noon on Friday, but it was expected that other parts of Johannesburg could remain in the dark over the weekend, City Power said.

The electricity supply had also been reconnected in Auckland Park, Kew, and Bramley.

Read more on:    city power  |  parks tau  |  faith mazibuko  |  johannesburg  |  electricity  |  strikes

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