Soweto Eskom lockdown

(Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lucky Maibi)

Gauteng community stage protest at Eskom doors to restore power

A Gauteng community has been protesting at the doors of Eskom to get their electricity back.

Soweto Eskom lockdown

(Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lucky Maibi)

A Gauteng community has recently staged a protest at Eskom’s doors to have their power restored.

The Winterveldt community activists have been protesting at the Eskom office in Menlyn. The community representatives launched a sit-in since Tuesday 2 July.

This followed a meeting in which Eskom had stated that they would not restore power to areas where residents were neither buying nor paying for electricity services

No electricity for Gauteng community

Certain areas in the Winterveldt community have been struggling without electricity. The loss of electricity was allegedly due to the faulty transformers that suffered under illegal connections, tampering and meter bypasses.

According to the Operations and Maintenance Manager and Senior Manager in the Gauteng Operating Unit Motlhabane Ramashi, Eskom had allegedly pleaded with the community to work with them to find long-lasting solutions.

Eskom stated that working together with the Gauteng communities such as Winterveldt would ensure that they would no longer suffer from continued power outages.

“We wish to plead with communities to collaborate with Eskom and work towards a sustainable solution.”

Ramashi stated that during the meeting with community members and Eskom employees the situation became tense and unsafe for their employees.

“It is unfortunate that the meeting became tense and that the employees’ safety was compromised. After Eskom’s security assessment, employees who were at the meeting were advised to evacuate the site for safety reasons.”

A court interdict was issued against the community representatives on Wednesday 3 July. The South African Police Service (SAPS) was then able to remove the community members without incident. 

No longer viable to replace infrastructure

Ramashi stressed that Eskom has always been committed to providing service to communities. However, he claims that it is no longer viable to continuously replace infrastructure.

“Eskom remains committed to providing service. It is however not viable to continue replacing mounted transformers and other infrastructure in areas where we continue to invest money, without any return, as energy losses continue to grow exponentially, coupled with low sales and increased operational costs.”