Johannesburg - A number of Primrose and Elandsfontein residents in Ekurhuleni are up in arms after losing most of the food they bought for the month due to ongoing power and water cuts in their area.
Some claimed that they had no water or electricity for 20 days, others for 10 days, and others for two days.
Marius Muller said he had to discard a number of expensive food items that were rotting due to the lack of electricity.
"The lack of electricity and water supply is violating our human rights. I spent a lot of money buying food for my family, and having to throw it away due to power cuts is heartbreaking. What is more heartbreaking is that no one is communicating what the problem is," said Muller.
Another resident, Zandile Kubheka, said all they need is electricity to run her household.
"All we only need is electricity to be fixed because we don’t have enough money for the remainder of the month. We are suffering here; the municipality does not care about us," said Kubheka.
Ward 92 councillor Kade Guerreiro said a councillor is the face of the community and a middleman between residents and the municipality, and that it is difficult for a person in his position to not have answers.
"Today is day 20 with no power. We have had zero communication; we've tried everything to try and get answers. At the end of the day, the people who are suffering are my residents. Ultimately, what we need is to get our power fixed, or we need to be able to ensure that we get communication. So we've gone from MMCs, the mayor, to the city manager, to divisional heads, to people from the depot, to Ekurhuleni staff in general, trying to get answers, and unfortunately, we're getting blocked, so they're not getting answers. And at the end of the day, my residents are the people that are suffering," said Guerreiro.
He said besides people who spent money on groceries, there are people with medical issues who are deprived of power for 20 days.
Ekurhuleni's mayor’s spokesperson, Phakamile Mbengashe, said they are listening and engaging the community.
"I can confirm that the office of the City Manager met with a few families on Wednesday just to clarify what is happening. In Primrose, there is a major cable that runs through the area and supplies about eight substations. When you have eight substations that cover a lot of ground. There was an incident of cable theft and vandalism," Mbengashe said.
He said currently there are Eskom technicians on the ground maintaining and doing repairs, and the municipal infrastructure had to be turned off.
Mbengashe said at times there are incidents where technicians are intimidated. He said it is important that the community and municipality work together.
He said they are in talks with Eskom, but they cannot confirm when electricity can be restored.