Joburg ANC caucus takes up fight for Soweto residents over power failures

2019-07-09 18:53
An electricity pylon (iStock).

An electricity pylon (iStock).

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The ANC caucus in Johannesburg has handed over a memorandum of demands to Eskom, asking the power utility to fulfil its mandate of providing the city's residents with electricity. 

The caucus said residents in areas such as Ivory Park, Soweto, Orange Farm and Diepsloot were constantly being plunged into darkness for unjustifiable periods of time with no explanation or assistance from Eskom. 

"The ANC caucus has tried to engage with the power utility for well over five years in an attempt to find a practical and lasting solution to this power supply challenge," ANC councillor Matshidiso Mfikoe said.

The party said while it wholly supported the call for residents to pay for services, it was imploring Eskom to not resort to collective punishment in its pursuit to get residents to honour their civic duties. 

It added that the "blanket approach" meant that those who paid for services and those who could not afford to pay (indigents) were being punished unfairly.

Ward councillors live in danger

"We believe there are a number of methods Eskom can use that would lead to a lasting solution to the electricity challenges in our communities. 

"These include allowing communities to enter into payment arrangements with the utility as well as the implementation of credit control measures once this existing problem of outages is resolved," Mfikoe said.  

She added the electricity crisis not only irritated residents, it also placed ward councillors and their families in harm's way because when residents were frustrated, they turned to their councillors for answers. 

Mfikoe said on numerous occasions councillors have had to bear the brunt of having their houses damaged for issues that were beyond their control.

"We appeal to Eskom to handle this matter with the urgency it deserves and ensure that they give us a lasting solution. We will await the entity's response on the matter and vow that we will not back down until the matter has been resolved," she added.

On Tuesday, residents of Doornkop in Soweto took to the streets again to protest a lack of electricity in the area, News24 reported

Read more on:    eskom  |  service delivery
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