Citizen reporter
2 minute read
11 Dec 2019
6:51 pm

City Power appeals for calm after technicians held hostage

Citizen reporter

'We will not hesitate to withdraw our teams completely should we feel they are not safe and the threats like last night continue,' City Power CEO Lerato Setshedi said.

File image: ANA

City Power has appealed to communities for patience and cooperation during its work to repair faults and restore power after load shedding.

According to a media statement, this is after an incident on Tuesday night at Hopefield substation where a team of technicians deployed to do repairs was threatened by the community, with some held hostage.

“City Power has been working to do the repairs for the past three days after a fault at Hopefield substation which plunged areas including Ennerdale Ext 5, 8 & 9, and Lawley 1 & 2 into darkness.

“The work involved doing tests including oil tests, which cannot be done in rainy weather. Also, doing maintenance during load shedding is difficult and dangerous to the technicians, as power may go and return any time,” the statement read.

“The delay in the work at Hopefield was compounded by the hostage of our technicians by some community members who refused them or the equipment to enter or exit. This went on until JMPD and security came in at around 22h00 to escort the workers, which is only when we managed to continue with the work.”

“We appeal to the community for their patience and cooperation during this time and allow our contractors space to do their work. We understand the frustrations and apologise for the inconvenience,” said City Power CEO Lerato Setshedi.

“Our teams were threatened last night and still feel threatened and are reluctant to go there due to the continued threats against them.

“We have requested the JMPD to assist our Risk Security in escorting our team to site until work is completed.

“We will however not hesitate to withdraw our teams completely should we feel they are not safe and the threats like last night continue. Unfortunately this will inconvenience the majority of the residents as electricity won’t be restored until some community members cooporate,” Setshedi added.

City Power added that it is dealing with a huge backlog of faults across the City of Johannesburg exacerbated by load shedding and the rain, and appealled for patience.

Further tests will be conducted at Hopefield, including oil test samples that could not be done yesterday in the rain.

“We are expecting that this work will go on until 17h00 – if all goes according to plan – after which time we will try and restore.

“Please follow us on social media @CityPowerJHB for further updates.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.