Substation turned into home

Johannesburg - Need a place to live? Just find your nearest electricity substation and move in.

This is what a bunch of squatters have done in Randburg, near Central Avenue.

Bedding and clothing were taken out by contract workers who went to paint inside the Central Avenue substation. Photo: Boxer Ngwenya. Credit: INLSA

They saw an unoccupied substation, broke the lock and moved in.

But they decided they didn’t like the look of the place, so they painted the doors a nice blue colour to brighten up the drab exterior. They also decorated the walls with a graffiti-style painting.

The bed and the wardrobe fit in comfortably between the electrical wires and connections. Even their pet dog has made himself comfortable and is seen running around happily in his new home.

And with winter approaching, they have been feeling the nip in the air, and to solve the problem they stuffed a recycling bag into the ventilation shaft.

Neighbours, however, are not comfortable with this new live-in situation.

They complain about continual power cuts weekly, some lasting up to two days during recent weeks.

They will not be named, as they live close by and fear they will be targeted if they do.

“It has become a nightmare. We never know when to expect a power cut. We are sure it is the squatters interfering with the power in the substation,” the unnamed woman said.

“We cannot keep food in the freezer because we are never sure when the next cut will be, and for how long. It is costing a fortune in buying take-aways,” she added.

City Power said a team would be sent to investigate the situation at the substation.