Sort out your staff issues, City Power tells Eskom

Gauteng suburbs remain in the dark after load-shedding

10 November 2021 - 14:45
By Iavan Pijoos
Eskom said a go-slow by technicians was affecting its response to network faults. File photo.
Image: Eugene Coetzee Eskom said a go-slow by technicians was affecting its response to network faults. File photo.

City Power has “raised concerns” with Eskom over a go-slow by employees leading to delays lasting hours in the restoration of power after load-shedding in parts of Gauteng.

“Our customers have in recent days been hard done by when electricity is supposed to be restored after load-shedding, with many restored several hours after their scheduled restorations,” said City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena.

Most affected customers were in the “border” areas, including Randburg, Midrand and Lenasia.

Mangena said customers in northern Johannesburg areas such as Northriding and Windsor were the hardest hit, going three to five hours without power after load-shedding had ended.

Mangena said the Windsor substation was load-shed at 2am on Wednesday and was due to operate again at 4.30am but by 8am power had not been restored.

“[On Tuesday] the same Windsor customers were shed at 2pm and due to be restored by 4.30pm but were only restored just before 7pm due to delayed restoration by Eskom.”

The same challenge was experienced by customers supplied by the Olivedale substation which supplies power to parts of Northriding.

In a statement on October 31, Eskom confirmed there were delays attending to network faults due to some technicians embarking on a go-slow.

Daphne Mokwena, a senior customer service manager at the power utility, said technicians who were not part of the go-slow were left to attend to network faults and restore supply.

“We can confirm Eskom management met with the trade unions and labour matters were resolved, with the agreement that technicians will resume operations,” Mokwena said.

But Mangena said this was unacceptable and called on the power utility to sort out its staffing issues.

“We call on Eskom to address its staff issues, or fix its system to enable it to operate load-shedding remotely instead of manually,” he said.

“We have raised our concerns with Eskom in this regard and appeal to our customers to bear with us while we try to resolve this with Eskom.”