Johannesburg council apologises for Alexandra blackout as power cuts in Pretoria anger residents


PRETORIA, July 4 – Johannesburg’s City Power said on Thursday said its technicians had worked throughout the night to repair a switching substation that caught fire on Tuesday, plunging almost half of Alexandra township into darkness for two nights.

By Thursday morning, 95 percent of the repairs had been completed, with the work expected to be finished by late morning, City Power spokesman Isaac Mangena said.

“If everything goes according to plan, including passing the tests, power should be restored by midday or latest, early Thursday afternoon,” he said, apologising to residents for the outage.

“The work was initially delayed by the work to remove shacks that encroached the area around the substation. The shacks were successfully removed with the help of the community leaders.”

In the capital Pretoria, some residents were fuming on social media, demanding explanations from the Tshwane council over extended power blackouts on Wednesday and Thursday. The municipality has been run by the Democratic Alliancee in collaboration with other parties after 2016 elections in which the African National Congress lost control

“DA government is useless – for last 2 years we have nearly a power failure in #Garsfontein East every week! I want @myANC back. DA IS USELESS,” one angry user wrote on Twitter.

Another wrote: “I feel like @CityTshwane has been loadshedding (implementing rolling blackouts) Garsfontein and Waterkloof consistently since April, but they just don’t want to say it outright. Mess. Just wow.”

Power had been restored to some areas by Thursday morning but the sound of generators was abuzz in others where electricity was still down for a  second day.

With winter temperatures plummeting, residents accused the City of Tshwane of lacking empathy.

Some Pretoria areas also did not have water on Wednesday.

– African News Agency (ANA)