File picture: Antoine de Ras/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

JOHANNESBURG - The Westbury Clinic in Johannesburg was left without electricity after the facility's main cable was tampered with, the health and social development department said on Wednesday.

According to a statement, the facility's operational manager said after hearing a loud bang on Tuesday afternoon and noticing smoke coming from the same area and inspection, he saw an unknown man running from the building.

"As a precaution, the fire department was notified and patients were evacuated. It was a relief to know that there was no visible fire and that the smoke came from the wires that burnt when the cables were cut," the department said.

As a result of the damage to the main power cable, the generator which serves as a back-up power supply system could not be switched on.

Services at the clinic have since been temporarily interrupted and all vaccines were moved to a close-by clinic for storage.

However, City Power was working to restore power back at the facility.

Meanwhile, Protea South Clinic in Soweto is also continuing to experience power outages as nearby community members continue to illegally connect to the power generator.

Health and Social Development member of the mayoral committee (MMC), Mpho Phalatse made a call on to the community to expose those who continue to target clinics and government facilities across the city.

"It is concerning that our clinics continue to be targeted by criminals. We cannot afford to have our facilities closed due to vandalism. I implore all communities to assist us and work with our area managers to safeguard our facilities," she said.

African News Agency (ANA)