Joburg appeals for 72-hour exemption from loadshedding

Metro seeks opportunity to fix structure damaged by floods and criminals

12 December 2022 - 11:55
By Penwell Dlamini AND Penwell Dlamini
Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse. File photo.
Image: Thulani Mbele Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse. File photo.

The City of Johannesburg has requested Eskom to exempt the metro from loadshedding for 72-hours in order to deal with infrastructure problems that have been caused by heavy rainfalls.

MMC for environment and infrastructure services Michael Sun said mayor Mpho Phalatse has requested a reprieve from loadshedding for three days to meet “insurmountable challenges” of escalating faults and outages.

“Given the urgent need for City Power to attend to the widespread and escalating faults, the entity has expressed its concern that loadshedding is not only causing to additional faults and stress on the network, but also preventing the entity from being able to effectively attend to the outages and to stabilise the situation.

“It is a simple fact that power lines and infrastructure cannot be worked on when there is no power, and cable theft increases exponentially during blackouts. Accordingly, the executive mayor councillor Mpho Phalatse has on behalf of City Power submitted an urgent request to Eskom for exclusion from loadshedding for a period of 72-hours to clear the current and increasing backlog,” Sun said.

On Monday, City Power was still dealing with over 4,000 service calls related to outages in different areas which have been severely hit by rains.

Areas hardest hit include the larger Roodepoort, Hursthill, Northcliff and Lenasia where infrastructure was severely damaged by flooding.

Operators continue to work tirelessly as all available technical skills have been deployed.

Sowetan reported on Monday that at least 3,00 homes had been badly affected by heavy rains in Florida, Soweto and Lenasia.

Furthermore, about 100 people from Nancefield Hostel had to be housed in a local hall after the housing facility was flooded.

Parts of the city have been without electricity for three days as technicians battle to restore power in flooded areas.

Sun said while the city is trying its best to restore power, criminals are also making things difficult by destroying and stealing from the infrastructure, as well as attacking technicians.

“Yesterday (on Sunday), four City Power technicians were held at gun point, assaulted, and robbed by six men in Jeppestown whilst in full view of community members standing by. Threats and intimidations of technicians are reported daily. We are appealing to all Joburgers to help us to keep our workers safe so we can get through this crisis together.

“To vandalise infrastructure such as mini-sub stations to vent the anger of power outages will only delay restoration even longer and put hundreds of other residents in the dark,” Sun said.

dlaminip@sowetan.co.za