Angry residents set fire on the school building during protests against power cuts. Picture: Supplied/Panyaza Lesufi/Twitter

Johannesburg - Gauteng education member of the executive council (MEC) Panyaza Lesufi on Thursday lambasted the community of Katlehong in Ekurhuleni for torching a local primary school during protests against power cuts.

An angry Lesufi said his department would not rebuild the school.

"People of Katlehong, this is what is left of Katlehong Primary School because the community is protesting against lack of electricity. This is completely unacceptable. Forget it if you think we will fix it! You will see to finish (sic)," he said in a tweet in which he attached photographs showing damages to the school building.

Katlehong residents have been complaining about power cuts in recent years, with some saying on social media that they go without for months. Residents resorted to protests by blocking roads with rocks and burning tyres. 

According to City of Ekurhuleni spokesman Themba Radebe, the frequent power outages were as a result of illegal connections and tampering with power lines.

"Demand for electricity is much higher during winter as compared to the rest of the year. The high loads registered at our substations can also be attributed to high levels of illegal connections as well as tampering on the electrical network," Radebe told the Sunday Independent newspaper.

He said the city's energy department was attending to the residents' complaints.

African News Agency (ANA)