Fury over Atteridgeville electricity outages
Joined by business people, they expressed anger and frustration, saying some parts of the area had been plunged into darkness since Sunday. They complained bitterly that their perishable foodstuff, like meat, got rotten due to the power failure.
Motorists had to avoid Maude and Hlahla streets, which had been blocked off by the protesting residents.
According to community leader Happy Masinga, the power cut was caused by the fire that broke out at the Kwagga sub-station, but the City of Tshwane rejected this, saying it was a result of a surge in power when electricity returned after load shedding.
The sub-station services 60% of the city, including Rosslyn, Atteridgeville, Laudium, Sunnyside, Parktown, Mayville, Wonderboom, Sinoville, Bon Accord, Magalieskruin, Soshanguve and Pretoria North.
Masinga said: “We went to the sub-station on Wednesday night, but we did not see anyone repairing it. It was for this reason that we resorted to protesting. We also submitted a memorandum at the City’s regional offices, but they are not telling us anything concrete about the situation.”
He said residents had to throw away food as it was spoilt due to the backouts. “We understand there is load shedding, but this has nothing to do with that.
“Some residents have already bought grocery items for Christmas, which are in the fridges, rotting. We are really being taken for granted and for that, we took this route of burning tyres because this is the only way to get their attention.
“The ward councillor had a meeting with us and told us to give the City six hours to restore power; we waited and power was never restored,” he said.
He and other residents threatened to burn the municipal offices if nothing was done about the situation.
Thato Ngwenya shared her frustration of not having electricity. “We had to throw (away) some of the food yesterday; we’ve wasted money and food due to this problem. But come month-end, the bill of electricity still arrives high as usual,” she said.
A business owner in the area said he too was badly affected.
“People have not been coming to my shop since the power outage, and that obviously means loss of business,” he said.
*For all the Tshwane load shedding schedules go to: http://www.tshwane.gov.za/