The community of Zwezwe in Khayelitsha will be without electricity after Eskom suspended its service to the area following an attack on two of the power utility’s employees.
The employees were working in the area on Sunday after a power outage when they were attacked by three suspects.
The men were held up at gunpoint and robbed of their belongings. The suspects also made off with a company vehicle, a Ford Ranger bakkie. The bakkie was recovered minutes after the robbery.
Mbulelo Yedwa, Eskom's Cape Coastal Cluster general manager, said communities should stand together and report the attacks on Eskom staff.
“We urge the community to take a stand against crime and come forward and report any criminal activity against our staff or our infrastructure,” he said.
“The safety of our staff is non-negotiable and if any violence or harassment continues, we will prioritise other electricity supply areas where their safety is guaranteed.”
According to police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie, a case of carjacking is being investigated.
“Harare has opened a carjacking case for further investigation following the incident that took place on Sunday, July 30, at about 4.50pm at 72 Block, Harare,” he said.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that the complainant was busy fixing electricity in the area when he and his colleague were accosted by three unknown suspects who robbed them of their belongings and took the company vehicle, a Ford Ranger bakkie, at gunpoint and sped off.”
Ward councillor Ayanda Tetani said that residents tried to protect the Eskom workers from the suspects.
“The community were there trying to safeguard the Eskom guys but they were not armed so there’s no way they would act like superheroes,” he said.
“They did manage to get the bakkie, not far from where the guys were robbed but the challenge is now with the services that are suspended.”
Provincial spokesperson Kyle Cookson said Eskom will engage with the community before sending staff back to the area.
“Eskom senior management and its internal security services will engage the SAPS and community leadership, regarding the incident and finding solutions to ensure the safety of staff before services may resume ,” Cookson said.
Meanwhile, a resident who asked not to be named says that it is bad living without electricity.
"It is very bad living without electricity as we don't know when it will go on again."