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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Electricity restored to Lenasia South, Phalatse responds

Lenasia South residents called on Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse to intervene in resolving the crisis which left the suburb in dark for days.


After four days of having no electricity, power has finally been restored to Lenasia South.

The suburb has been reeling without power since Friday, after a fire gutted the substation plunging the entire area into darkness.

City Power confirmed on Monday, that efforts to restore power on Sunday were thwarted when the breaker blew up due to the vandalism that happened on the extension switching station.

Vandalism

Spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the vandalism happened while repairs were ongoing at the Lenasia substation.

“The teams this morning repaired the breaker and other related equipment and restored power to the substation. However, only the Lenasia South Extension 3 distributor has been restored, with Ext 1, 2 and 4 remaining off because they are fed from the badly vandalised Switching Station in Extension 4.”

ALSO READ: ‘Where’s Phalatse?’ – Lenasia South struggles without power

Other areas still off

Mangena said technicians are currently busy with repairs at the vandalised switching station so that the rest of the customers can be restored.

“Unfortunately, we do not have ETR (estimated time of restoration) at the moment. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to the customers by this.”

“We urge the residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity around our electricity infrastructure, especially during the outages,” Mangena said

Where is the mayor of Johannesburg?

Earlier, angry and frustrated Lenasia South residents called on Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse to intervene in resolving the crisis which left residents scurrying to seek alternate power sources to save food and perishables bought at month-end from rotting.

From having no hot water to shower, the power outage affected people who are working from home with no internet connectivity, including pupils who have to study under candle light for their yearend examinations.

Phalatse responds

Phalatse’s spokesperson Mabine Seabe told The Citizen the mayor is aware of the power outages.

“A lot of these outages are the result of defects of rolling blackouts because the energy grid is not designed to be turned on and off and also compounded by that is the issue of cable theft which is being treated as a priority by the City of Johannesburg as well as City Power.”

Protecting the substation

Resident have called for the substation to be better protected, especially during load shedding when infrastructure becomes vulnerable to criminals who steal copper cables and vandalise equipment which results in extended and unwelcomed power outages.

Seabe said Phalatse spearheaded a multi-disciplinary operation in Lenasia and the south of Johannesburg in an effort to ensure the City of Johannesburg is able to work with other law enforcement authorities and community policing forums (CPS) to protect infrastructure.

“We are working currently with Saps to finalise the Johannesburg Safety Strategy which integrates various law enforcement authorities and also working with the Group Forensics and Investigation Services to get an infrastructure protection unit and further – City Power has made an application for some of its major infrastructure to be declared as critical infrastructure, known as national key points.”

Seabe said the application has been forwarded to the ministry of police so the necessary resources can be dedicated to protecting the infrastructure.

ALSO READ: UPDATE: Eskom suspends load shedding until Monday

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