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By Stephen Tau


‘Don’t be too quick to blame Eskom’ – Ramaphosa urges Sedibeng residents amid power outages

It was not surprising when residents raised power outages as the biggest problem pertaining to service delivery challenges.

President Cyril Ramaphosa spent Friday morning listening to service delivery-related concerns by residents of the Sedibeng District Municipality.

Some residents have been without electricity for more than a year now, owing to exploded transformers due to an overloaded electricity network, in many cases as a result of ‘illegal connections’.

It was not surprising when residents raised this as the biggest problem pertaining to service delivery challenges.

After listening to residents from the local Emfuleni, Midvaal and Lesedi municipalities, Ramaphosa acknowledged that many citizens were experiencing a lot of challenges which are now being addressed.

Speaking at one of the country’s iconic townships, Sharpeville, south of Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said one of the biggest challenges faced by Eskom and residents alike was that of illegal connections.

“This problems starts with us and we all know the people who are involved in illegal connections.

“In some instances, we also heard about some Eskom employees being involved in illegal connections which cause explosions to our transformers and as a result leading to 20 000 other households being left without electricity…Then we are quick to blame Eskom,” said Ramaphosa.


Ramaphosa also urged particularly the mayor of Emfuleni municipality, Sipho Radebe, to do more in ensuring that residents do not live in squalor.

Many roads and streets in the Emfuleni Local Municipality, as witnessed by Ramaphosa himself, are filled with rubbish flowing from uncollected refuse in some areas of the municipality.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa was accompanied by various Cabinet ministers who included Human Settlements minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi.

Kubayi raised concerns about and condemned illegal land and housing occupations, warning that they will be coming after those encouraging such actions.

“We will continue to evict people who have illegally occupied land and houses, and I am glad the Police minister, Bheki Cele, is here because we really must go after those who are leading and encouraging the illegal occupations of land and housing,” Kubayi added.


Emfuleni’s woes deepened last year to a point where the municipality could not even pay its service providers.

ALSO READ: Emfuleni woes deepen as municipality fails to pay service providers

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