Residents in Dube, Soweto, on Tuesday, 8 June 2021, gathered at the corner of Mahlefele Road and Mncube Drive and barricaded roads to protest load shedding and power cuts in the district.
Dube protest – 8 June
Behind the scenes
Community leader Thapelo Thagane tells The Citizen that residents have been battling electricity cuts for the past five months. In addition, Sizanani Primary school has been closed due to power outages. Thagane calls on Eskom:
“Three streets, 72 houses precisely have been out of electricity for five months. There is a primary school without electricity. Eskom, if you can’t give us electricity, can you at least give the primary school electricity?”
He adds that June is the coldest month in South Africa and wants to remind the public that children in the district cannot attend school.
Forcing Eskom to pay attention
Thagane says residents are prepared to protest until Eskom pays attention, adding that the community is ready to shut down the whole of Dube, mobilise and join forces with other districts that don’t have electricity either.
“If push comes to shove, we are going to shut down the entire Soweto and we are going to take this to the suburbs. People in the suburbs are in a comfort zone, especially politicians. We are aware politicians have generators. We are going to stop this nonsense”.
Moreover, Thagane points out that the situation in Dube is “man-made and deliberately so”. He asks that Eskom provide a transformer and said the community will even pay for it, if that’s what it takes.
‘We are coming after you’
According to Thagane, Dube ward councillor Ben Saohatsi briefed the community on Tuesday and said he was aware that parts of the community of Ward 28 have been without electricity. Thagane is now calling on Saohatsi to work with the community.
In conclusion, Thagane says Dube residents have a strong message for Eskom:
“We won’t succumb. Eskom, we are going to send you a strong message. We are coming after you. We are going to visit you”.
Motorists are advised to exercise caution and use alternative routes.
In photos: Dube protests