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Residents threaten to escalate scale of protest

The community has given community leaders instructions that they will embark on an unpleasant protest if the mayor does not give them an audience.

Ward 110 and 80’s power outages that are unrelated to load-shedding has worsened as the community now urges the Wards Electricity Crisis committee to escalate the issue to the City of Johannesburg’s mayor.

This comes after the frustrated residents led by the committee embarked on a peaceful strike on June 15 at the City of Joburg Region A offices to submit their memorandum of grievances to the Region A director, Abigail Ndlovu.

The memorandum demanded solutions to ‘unfair’ load reductions, blackouts, and unplanned power outages among others.

The regional director promised to respond back to the residents’ memorandum with solutions in 10 days, and indeed they received a response on June 27.

Ward 110 and 80 residents burn tires as they protest against outages unrelated to load-shedding on May 10. Photo: Comfort Makhanya

A meeting between the City of Johannesburg and City Power was held and they gave the committee a report back.

The report stated that there will be an upgrade to the Allandale substation by increasing the grid, ensuring streetlights are on even during load-shedding, electrifying new settlements, pay points, completing the commissioning of meter boxes, stopping scheduled power cuts, stoppage of load reduction and blackouts, fixing unsafe cables, and communication with the entities.

Ward 110 and 80 residents protest at the City of Joburg Region A offices on June 15. Photo: Comfort Makhanya

The report stated that some of the issues are currently being addressed to limit the outages until the final sourcing of 40MVA at Allandale Substation occurs in March next year.

The residents are however tired of ’empty promises’ as overloading on the grid has caused some parts of the community, especially Rabie Ridge Ext 1 and 2 to have about 10 hours of electricity per day sometimes a week.

Consequently, the residents felt that their protest in Mid-June was not enough to convince the entities that they have struggled long enough with these issues.

As a result, they have requested the committee to arrange a meeting with other senior audience members of the entities, including the executive mayor.

The committee has reached out to the Ward Councillors Angie Mphaho of 110 and Melody Hlatshwayo of 80 to forward their request to the City.

Secretary of the committee Adam Campbell said the community has given them instructions that they will embark on an unpleasant protest if the mayor does not give them an audience.

Ward 110 and 80 Electricity Crisis Committee secretary Adam Campbell speaks. Photo: Comfort Makhanya

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