Johannesburg - Johannesburg’s City Power has said that its technicians have advised it that they will have full restoration of electricity by late Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
This comes as hundreds of businesses and thousands of customers continue to suffer from the power outage in Johannesburg inner city which has lasted more than a week.
Businesses in downtown Joburg, including banks, restaurants and retail stores, have had to rely on generators to avoid closing shop while some residential flats have been plunged into absolute darkness for days.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s (IPID) provincial office, which is based at Marble Towers, Jeppe Street, had to close on Monday and the staff relocated to the Gauteng District Office in Pretoria until the electricity problem is resolved.
Ipid said the provincial office will resume operations in Joburg once electricity supply is restored.
City Power said it had so far restored 40 percent of the areas affected in the inner city, with technical teams hoping to expedite the process.
City Power spokesperson Sol Masolo said that the utility remained fully committed to work until the last customer in Johannesburg CBD is switched back on.
"We are on schedule and are currently testing the installed cables and other equipment.This is a necessary and critical step which must take place before any of the newly installed equipment is energised," Masolo said.
"A further impediment to our progress in restoration has been the confined and dark spaces in the nine kilometre tunnel."
The damage to the cables resulted from fire during a brazen cable theft two Sundays ago. The fire affected multiple feeders and load centre at various sub stations in the central business district.
As a results, multiple areas in Johannesburg inner city experienced power outage.
Affected areas include Carlton Centre, the Premier’s Office, and multiple buildings and streets on Jeppe, Plein, Pritchard, President, Albert Sisulu, Bree, Marshaltown, Karzene, Selby and Durban streets.
The City’s investigation team led by the group forensic investigation department has already arrested 22 people in connection with the recent cable theft.
Three scrapyard owners were arrested last week Tuesday for possession of copper cables stolen from the inner city. A vast cache of other stolen City infrastructure was identified and seized across three scrapyards during the course of the operation.
It is estimated that 45 percent of the power outages in the City were caused by cable theft, and this week-long power outage has already cost businesses millions of rand.