Johannesburg metro police to deploy heavily as EFF marches to Eskom

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JOHANNESBURG, February 28 – A large contingent of South African metro police will be deployed on Friday morning to monitor a march planned by the Economic Freedom Fighters from the wealthy Sandton district to the Johannesburg headquarters of power utility Eskom in protest against electricity blackouts, a spokesman said.

The militant EFF is demonstrating not only against the rotational powercuts which have plagued South Africa for months as Eskom struggles to generate enough electricity to meet demand, but also what it sees as government plans to privatise the beleagured state company.

In a statement, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Wayne Minnaar said Sandton traffic would be diverted for the protest march.

“A huge contingent of law enforcement officers will be on duty, to monitor the EFF march,” he said.

“The march will affect traffic between 10am and 3pm, and motorists are advised to avoid the roads which will be affected during those times.”

In a post on its Twitter account on Wednesday flagging that the march was two days away, the EFF said “white monopoly capital” — a reference to the continued economic domination of white people in South Africa — “is taking over Eskom and restricting the role of the state in the economy which will restrict industrial development”.

“We must never allow that. Join the People’s March against load shedding and privatization of Eskom,” the EFF said.

The radical party has repeatedly demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa fire public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, accusing him of mishandling the crisis at Eskom and other financially struggling state companies.

– African News Agency (ANA)