The ANC in Johannesburg has come out in support of Soweto residents who marched to Eskom’s head office at Megawatt Park over power cuts on Wednesday.
The ruling party’s Johannesburg region said it had engaged an “intransigent” Eskom last month, but the power utility had been unwilling to resolve Soweto residents’ issues.
It claimed that Eskom was undermining Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, whom they claim has instructed the power utility to attend to the matter.
“[The] Eskom leadership has demonstrated not having the interest of the people at heart but the interest to get more profits and use those [profits] to continue advancing corruption by giving their friends and relatives tenders,” the party said in a statement.
The party added that it had asked its members in the City of Johannesburg to work with Eskom to “facilitate City Power taking over the areas currently supplied by Eskom directly”.
“The executive mayor, Geoff Makhubo has since established [the] Eskom areas takeover task team led by MMC of environment, infrastructure and services, Mpho Moerane, and the environment, infrastructure and services portfolio committee chairperson, Matshidiso Mfikoe, to ensure the execution of this task.
“We are further calling upon Eskom to ensure electricity supply to all areas it is currently supplying in the interim until the city’s take over processes is finalised. Electricity is a basic necessity for our people. In the same breath, we appeal to the Joburg residents to continue paying for the services as we work towards a solution to bring light to the dark days in their households,” the party said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Soweto residents from Orlando, Pimville, Sunvalley, White City, Ndofaya, Protea and Dube marched to the utility’s offices in Woodmead demanding the reconnection of electricity in some areas which have been without power for months.
Additional reporting by Siyanda Ndlovu