Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo has vowed to escalate Soweto residents’ complaints over continuous blackouts to ministers Gwede Mantashe and Pravin Gordhan.
Makhubo addressed the media as he marched with Soweto residents to the Eskom offices in Diepkloof. He said that the City of Johannesburg will meet with the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) as well as Gordhan and Mantashe next week.
Scores of Soweto residents attended the protest and they were joined by residents of Alexandra, Orange Farm, Diepsloot and Ivory Park.
They marched from the historic Uncle Tom’s Hall in Orlando West to the Eskom offices in Diepkloof. Scores of elderly citizens were clad in ANC and Sanco T-shirts.
Makhubo said he represented the masses in the city who were affected by continuous blackouts.
“They are crying over reliable electricity and extended periods of load shedding where Eskom doesn’t stick to its own schedules.
“There are families, households, areas that haven’t had electricity for over a year now because of burnt substations and other matters,” Makhubo said.
He said they marched to the Eskom offices to find a lasting solution for residents’ complaints. He added that all affected areas are led by ANC councillors.
“We have to take the issues of those people serious. Next week we are going to talk to the ministers of public enterprises and energy to find a lasting solution.
“We will be going there as the ANC and as the city to speak on behalf of the people of Soweto, Ivory Park, Diepsloot, Orange Farm and Alexandra, who demand reliable electricity.”
Makhubo also said electricity was a right, not a privilege.