R25m spent to replace stolen cables, vandalised infrastructure in Lenasia and Eldos
Johannesburg - City of Joburg has reportedly spent R25 million to replace stolen cables and vandalised infrastructure in Lenasia and Eldorado Park.
The townships are experiencing issues related to power supply which are caused by an increase in rampant cable theft, vandalism of infrastructure and illegal connections. These are heightened by the growth of illegal land invasions and unplanned informal settlements.
According to the city, since the beginning of the year, City Power has spent about R25m to replace stolen cables, fix vandalised infrastructure, and fix damaged transformers including mini-substations in Region G, which incorporates Eldorado Park. Region G, in part of the deep south of the City of Joburg, is the most affected by rapid urbanisation and land invasions, which have also contributed to the city’s challenges.
The city’s MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Mpho Moerane, said despite this, City Power has continued to give service to challenges and address electricity problems in the region.
“We can confirm with certainty that there is enough budget to address intermittent electricity maintenance and service-related bottlenecks in the region, including Eldorado Park.
“We are of the view that the false alarm communicated on social media is nothing but negative political campaigning aimed at creating negativity and a malicious attack on the current administrative leadership of the City of Johannesburg.”
Moerane said communities should work with City Power to find a sustainable solution to curb this problem by reporting cases of vandalism, cable theft and illegal meter tampering. Following his consultation with City Power, Moerane indicated that he had been assured by the power utility management that it’s a blatant lie that they have run out of maintenance and/or service budget.
“The reality is that City Power is currently running with a 20% reserve for year-to-date on the repairs and maintenance vote.”
Moerane said City Power uses the SAP system for accounting and management of allocated funds and that for every cost centre there is a cap to help avoid overexpenditure as dictated by the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).
“Year in and year out, depots would reach a limited budget depending on the maintenance work demands for each depot. The depots do not have federal monopoly to the resources allocated, and now and then management is able to reload or reallocate interchangeably between depots without flouting the MFMA.”