The ANC Caucus in Johannesburg has called on Eskom to lace up its bootstraps and reconnect the power supply to communities like Soweto, Ivory Park and Diepsloot.
The call from the party came in the form of a march to the power utility’s headquarters at Megawatt Park in Sandton.
The ANC Caucus handed over a memorandum of demands to Eskom, with the power utility vowing to respond within seven days.
What are ANC’s demands to Eskom?
The party wants Eskom to “fulfil its mandate of providing the City’s residents with electricity”.
In a statement, the ANC Caucus lambasted the power utility for not tending to the needs of residents in areas like Soweto, Ivory Park, Diepsloot and Orange Farm, who have been left with no electricity for long durations these past few weeks.
“It should be noted that as the Caucus, we support wholly the call for residents to pay for services, but we implore Eskom to not resort to collective punishment in their pursuit to get residents to honour their civic duty. This blanket approach means that those who pay for services and those who cannot afford to pay (indigents) are unfairly punished,” the Caucus stated.
The party revealed that many of its ward councillors from these communities have been subjected to harassment from disgruntled residents who want them to sort out the power issues with Eskom.
“Not only is this electricity crisis an irritant to residents, but it also places our ward councillors and their families in harm’s way. In their frustration, which is understandable albeit often misdirected, residents expect and demand their councillors to provide answers — which they cannot do, as they are also residents who are reliant on Eskom’s intervention,” the statement read.
Why the power utility is not budging
The power utility has remained defiant in their reluctance to aid these communities with their power issues since they believe the problems they face are self-inflicted.
This is the second protest the power utility has had to endure this month. However, it has remained rooted in its stance that it will not replace transformers in these townships.
“Transformers are also off as a result of overloading caused by bypassed meters, illegal connections and vandalism of the electricity infrastructure. Overloaded transformers in most instances catch fire or explode as their protections have been interfered with and vandalised.
“The non-payment of electricity does not only impact on the security of supply for customers, but it also contributes to increased energy and revenue losses, coupled with increased operational costs… Eskom remains committed to partnering with customers in Diepsloot, together with the respective councillors, in an effort to deal with electricity-related matters in the area,” the power utility revealed in an earlier statement.
The ANC Caucus has implored the power utility to act on these demands urgently.
“We will await the entity’s response on the matter and vow that we will not back down until the matter has been resolved,” the party warned.
This report does not necessarily reflects the opinion of SA-news.