Eskom suspends service calls in KZN, Joburg areas affected by protests
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Johannesburg - Embattled power utility Eskom said on Sunday it suspended service calls in areas affected by protests, citing concerns for the safety of its employees and contractors.
It said earlier there were delays in service due to "sporadic protest action" predominantly in KwaZulu-Natal region and some parts of Gauteng, the country's main economic hub where Johannesburg is located.
"Eskom will not dispatch technicians in areas where there are protests. Safety of our employees remains our priority and therefore where we feel our employees are not safe, we will withdraw them immediately," the company said in a statement.
Sporadic acts of violence after the jailing of former resident Jacob Zuma have spread.
The unrest had initially been concentrated in Zuma's home province of KwaZulu-Natal, where on Wednesday night he started serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court.
Video: Samkelo Mtshali/IOL
Earlier on Sunday President Cyril Ramaphosa said there is no justification for violent protests, adding that the recent acts could be based on ethnic mobilisation.
“While there are those who may be hurt and angry at this moment, there can never be any justification for such violent, destructive and disruptive actions,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said the Constitution guaranteed everyone’s right to freely express themselves and to engage in peaceful protests.
“It is a matter of concern to all South Africans that some of these acts of violence are based on ethnic mobilisation,” Ramaphosa said.
“This must be condemned by all South Africans, at all costs, as we are a nation committed to non-racialism and non-tribalism, that is underpinned by the diversity and unity of all the people of South Africa, whatever their language, culture, religious beliefs and race,” said Ramaphosa.