ActionSA urges City Power to step in and sort out Roodepoort Ward 97’s power woes

ActionSA has announced its intention to present a motion at the upcoming council meeting. Picture: File

ActionSA has announced its intention to present a motion at the upcoming council meeting. Picture: File

Published Feb 22, 2024


In a bid to tackle the ongoing power outages faced by residents of Ward 97, ActionSA has announced its intention to present a motion at the upcoming council meeting.

In addition, the party has urged City Power to escalate the issue to Eskom, seeking a temporary exemption from load shedding until essential upgrades are completed.

Councillor Elmari Atterbury, constituency co-ordinator for ActionSA Joburg, addressed the urgency of the situation and requested a formal action plan from City Power to speed up the upgrading and maintenance of Roodepoort Ward 97’s infrastructure.

Despite numerous escalations and requests to City Power, including formal requests to general manager Sibusiso Xulu, and the MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Jack Sekwaila, there has been a lack of concrete action and feedback on a plan to address the issues in Ward 97.

Atterbury emphasised the importance of taking significant action and providing feedback to address the difficulties faced by Ward 97 residents.

“Residents have suffered extensively, with power outages ranging from four hours to an incredible 14 days.

“Considering the risks to safety, mental health, and financial stability caused by these outages – which are blamed on decaying infrastructure – the existing situation is unsustainable and urgently needs to be resolved.”

ActionSA has pledged to prioritise the repair and improvement of crucial infrastructure, including energy, roads, water systems, and communication networks.

“By tackling the present issues, such efforts seek to promote economic growth and raise everyone’s standards of living.

“Additionally, ActionSA has proposed various measures to tackle the energy crisis, including empowering Independent Power Producers to generate power, ensuring thorough practicable studies for emergency supply contracts, prioritising anti-corruption initiatives in the energy supply chain, and safeguarding vital service delivery facilities from load shedding.”

Atterbury reiterated ActionSA’s commitment to advocating for the rights and needs of Roodepoort’s residents and businesses, promising to continue pushing for immediate action to address current concerns.

“As Roodepoort struggles with the consequences of persistent power outages, ActionSA’s plea for urgent action underscores the critical need for appropriate solutions to safeguard the community's well-being and prosperity,” said Atterbury.

Residents remain hopeful that concerted efforts will lead to tangible improvements in their electricity supply situation.

In response, City Power spokesperson, Isaac Mangena, stated that City Power was experiencing a worrying increase in theft and vandalism of its electricity infrastructure. This resulted in outages and in some instances, these were prolonged depending on the extent of the damage to the network.

“While this problem may seem to be more rife and rampant in the Roodepoort area, it is not unique to this locality. It is also affecting other parts of the City of Johannesburg.

“City Power would like to clarify that it has enough capacity to supply all its customers, including those in Roodepoort, and that there are no network upgrades required to supply City Power customers across the City of Johannesburg.

“The network upgrades that ActionSA is referring to are for future developments and townships. City Power cannot exempt Ward 97 from load shedding as this would have to be done for all areas facing the same challenges.”

Mangena further said that if City Power was to do that for every area with this challenge, it would fail to save the megawatts required by Eskom during load shedding.

“Though we are continuously working on increasing security and employing the latest technology in monitoring our network which is vast and wide to try and combat the theft and vandalism of our infrastructure, we also appeal to our communities to partner with us in the fight against this type of crime.

“We have set up a toll-free line to also help with reporting suspicious criminal acts around our network infrastructure. When residents notice anyone digging or fiddling with our infrastructure, even if they are wearing City Power regalia, they can contact City Power to ensure that the work is sanctioned by City Power,” said Mangena.

The Star

Nobukhosi Tshabalala

[email protected]