City of Johannesburg, Eskom reach agreement to electrify Zandspruit

2018-10-16 18:36
Zandspruit protest. (JMPD, Supplied, file)

Zandspruit protest. (JMPD, Supplied, file)

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Eskom and the City of Johannesburg have reached an agreement to rid the Zandspruit informal settlement of illegal electrical connections. The area has been rocked by protests, which flared up when two children were reportedly electrocuted last week.

The protests entered their second day on Tuesday, with residents blocking roads and burning tyres.

On Tuesday, the City and Eskom had a meeting, which was also attended by community members, according to Nico de Jager, MMC for environment and infrastructure services.

De Jager told News24 that there were about 19 000 people in Zandspruit affected by illegal connections, and that about half of the area was not electrified. He said that, while some areas in Johannesburg were electrified by the City itself, others were supposed to be electrified by Eskom, and Zandspruit was one of these.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe confirmed that Zandspruit fell under Eskom’s jurisdiction.

De Jager said that it had also been decided on Tuesday that Mayor Herman Mashaba would visit the community – something which residents had demanded.

He said that City Power had committed to providing public lighting to Zandspruit, and a budget had been made available to do so.

Eskom had agreed to electrify the area, and this would be done in phases, he said. De Jager said funding was needed from the Department of Energy and that this had now been arranged. He also said the City would bring the Department of Housing on board to see what could be done from its side.

Phasiwe said there had been meetings with the community last year as well. Eskom had committed to electrifying the area, he said.

Phasiwe said part of the problem was that the layout of the settlement needed to be changed.

"Their area needs to have proper streets and adequate space between houses, before electrification can be done. That is the function of the City of Johannesburg," he said.

He added that the City had agreed to relocate some residents in terms of their spatial planning.

Read more on:    eskom  |  johannesburg  |  service delivery

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