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By Kyle Zeeman

Digital News Editor

Still working to keep the lights on? City Power rubbishes claims of a ‘go-slow’

Residents have been looking for answers on why they are sitting in the dark for over 24 hours, with rumours of a go-slow spreading.

 The City of Johannesburg’s electricity utility City Power has refuted claims of a protest by some of its contractors which has left some areas with prolonged outages.

Several areas in the city went more than 24 hours without electricity this week after technical issues and repairs needed to be done.

READ MORE: Joburg City Power: Broke and loss-making, with a grid on the brink

City Power denies claims of go-slow

As residents searched for answers to the delays, some shared messages claiming subcontractors had downed tools, citing grievances.

The utility hit back on Thursday, saying its more than 360 staff and contractors were still working.

“As far as City Power is concerned, there is currently no protest from any of its recognised contractors, and operations are proceeding unimpeded since Monday – the day tools were supposed to be laid down,” spokesperson Isaac Mangena said.

Police may get involved after threats

Mangena claimed threatening messages had been sent to contractors at work addressing outages.

“We have requested the police to follow these threats and ensure those behind them are arrested and prosecuted.”

It said it had beefed up security to protect workers in case a strike threatened lives, property, and operations.

Probes and audits

The utility said it believed the threats and rumours of a go-slow may have come after it began probing and auditing all service providers for falsified invoices.

“We will be having a pre-planned meeting with the 65 contractors [contracted to the utility] to discuss any challenges that they may be encountering regarding this audit and any other problems they may be having with paying their subcontractors.”

READ MORE: Surviving Joburg: From dripping taps to dodging potholes

It reaffirmed its commitment to “root out any element of fraud, corruption, and overall poor workmanship from service providers”.

On Thursday, City Power’s Roodepoort Service Delivery Centre only logged over 1 200 calls and had 112 plants out of service.