WATCH | Soweto shutdown: Phalatse promises to engage Eskom over blackouts

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  • Mpho Phalatse promised to engage with Eskom with regard to electricity blackouts in Soweto.
  • Phalatse received a memorandum from residents to demand her intervention.
  • Some residents claimed they were willing to pay, but did not have the money.

Some Soweto residents are willing to pay for municipal services, but don't have the finances to do so, said the City of Johannesburg's mayor, Mpho Phalatse.

She was addressing the media after receiving a memorandum from angry residents, who marched to her offices in Braamfontein on Tuesday.

Residents complained about constant blackouts.

They also claimed they couldn't afford to pay the R6 000 reconnection fee demanded by Eskom.

They demanded Phalatse engage with Eskom to end the blackouts.

Soweto residents marched to the office of City of Joburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse to voice their displeasure about service delivery.

"Pensioners qualify for free basic services, including water and electricity. We will be assisting those who are unaware and don't access these free basic services," said Phalatse.

"We have been working separately with Eskom. The relationship between Eskom and our electricity is independent. Our residents are asking us to work together. Going forward, we will have ongoing engagements with Eskom to mediate between our residents and Eskom.

READ | Protesting Soweto residents take service delivery grievances to Mayor Mpho Phalatse's office

"We had our two-day energy indaba. The idea is to increase electricity generation in the City to serve our residents better. Should Eskom not be in a position to resolve the issue (Soweto blackouts), we do have plans to take over Eskom supply areas."

Phalatse added:

There are many historical issues in the City (that we inherited). The biggest one is the mountain of debt. From what I heard from residents, they are willing to pay for services, but don't have the means to pay.


"The City has a debt rehabilitation programme. However, that doesn't apply to Eskom. It only applies to City-related debt. I think that Eskom and the National Treasury need to think of a plan," Phalatse said. 

Migration

"We are in the process of reviewing our migrant policy. We will be sending it out for public participation. We are a nine-party government. We need to find a consensus ourselves internally around the issue.

"We hope academia will come on board and assist us. We should be done with our draft once processes have been concluded. We will send it out to our residents once it has been approved," added Phalatse. 





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