Alexandra blackouts blamed on fire allegedly set by forum
TMG Digital | 2017-02-19 13:08:44.0
A general view shows Alexandra Township in Johannesburg. File Photo
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Sections of Alexandra north of Johannesburg have been without electricity since last Wednesday‚ which the city council charges was due to a fire allegedly set by the Region E Business Forum to a City Power substation.
MMC for environment and infrastructure services for the city Nico de Jager said on Sunday that this was after the forum had demanded a limited percentage of all SMME work be assigned to it in Region E.
It had then threatened and prevented City Power employees from entering the depot to restore power. He said numerous cases had been opened against the Region E Business Forum‚ but to date no arrests by the South African Police Service had been made.
Until City Power employees could return to the depot without being intimidated by the Region E Business Forum‚ the trade union SAMWU would not allow its members to return‚ he said.
“I will be meeting with City Power subcontractors and the Regional Director today after which the JMPD will escort City Power employees to the depot to ensure they can enter the facility and restore power safely‚” De Jager added. Criminal charges against the Region E Business Forum hade also been laid by City Power‚ he said.
“Vandalising City Power infrastructure and intimidating employees is a criminal offence and these actions by the Region E Business Forum must be vehemently condemned.
“I also call on SAPS to thoroughly investigate all charges against the Region E Business Forum and ensure that individuals who hamper service delivery and threaten the safety of the City Power employees through criminal activities are held to account.”