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Stjwetla residents protest against power outages

It is alleged that the residents of Stjwetla informal settlement set fire to the mini sub-station.

Residents of Stjwetla informal settlement blocked off streets in Far East Bank Ext 8 in protest against power outages, on May 22.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the power utility was aware of the outages affecting residents of Stjwetla, however, he claimed these were self-inflicted as residents decided to burn down the mini substation that provided them with electricity.

The City Power depot in Alexandra. Photo: Kamva Bena

“We believe the residents have no one but themselves to blame. We are aware that they blocked the streets and unfortunately we are not able to help them,” he told Alex News.

He said repair teams had visited the area to assess the damage to the mini substation and found it was badly damaged. “Unfortunately, we do not have material to replace the damaged mini substation.
“This is an unnecessary financial burden for the City and its entity as one mini substation costs half a million rand to replace, excluding labour costs.”

Mangena said this was the second mini substation to be set on fire for no apparent reason, the first being in Tsutsumani Ext 8. “It’s unclear why it was set on fire by a member of the community, causing inconvenience to many people on a bitterly cold weekend.

The City Power depot in Alexandra. Photo: Kamva Bena

“We may not even be able to replace the burnt muni substation for a while.”
He called on community leaders to take a stand and denounce the acts of vandalism of the infrastructure and cable theft which he said were the main reasons for outages in the township.

He urged residents to come forward with any information that could lead to the arrest of the vandals.


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