Protesting Soweto residents say they’ve been without power for a year
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Johannesburg - Dube residents in Soweto barricaded all roads in the area with rocks and burning tyres on Tuesday over lack of electricity.
They said they have had enough of the poor service delivery after going for almost a year without electricity.
Among those affected is Wandies Place, the world-famous restaurant owned by businessman Wandi Ndala.
Spokesperson for the residents Lwandile Ndala said “enough is enough”, and that it was inhumane for them to be expected live without electricity in the cold weather.
He said the protests had been ongoing in the area since Thursday last week but nothing had been done about the Eskom substation that exploded, leaving more than 70 households and Sizanani Primary School without electricity.
“We cannot afford for our children to be cold at school and at home, and that is why we decided to protest, because it seems to be the only language our officials in this country understood,” Ndala said.
He said they had taken all the legal routes, such as signing a petition and addressing their complaints to the area management, but nothing had been done. Instead, they had received empty promises from Eskom and the area manager.
“We cannot continue to suffer because of miscommunication from top management; people’s lives are at risk. There are elderly people who survive on oxygen machines, and without electricity their health is in danger.
“Many people have started their own business but cannot operate because they are without electricity. We cannot afford to buy gas and petrol weekly for our generators. We are suffering both financially and economically,” he said.
Mother of three Lungile Shabalala said it pained her to see her children have to do their homework by candle light, something she experienced over three decades ago under apartheid.
She said a contractor was sent on Tuesday to fix the substation but he arrived drunk.