Emfuleni – eleventh day without electricity

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is appalled at the lack of action by the Emfuleni Municipality, the Administrator appointed in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution and Gauteng Cooperative Governance (COGTA) MEC Lebogang Maile to address the lengthy power outages in the municipal area.

In Three Rivers, Vereeniging, the upmarket cash cow that provides the Emfuleni Municipality with the revenue that it needs to keep going, residents have been without electricity for eleven days, with no end to the problem in sight.

In spite of MEC Maile’s undertaking in March this year to resolve the impasse between Eskom and the failing Emfuleni Municipality, both Eskom and Rand Water took drastic action last week to try and secure some payment for services rendered.

This resulted in an outcry from residents as their power was cut off.

Some arrangements were made, and the electricity supply was restored, albeit with load reduction being implemented to minimise losses during peak periods.

The switching on and off of the supply appears to have triggered a breakdown of the infrastructure, some of which dates back to the 1950s, which has not been properly maintained.
This resulted in a number of burnt out panels in substations and numerous cable faults.

The solution appears to be the replacement of a three kilometre stretch of cable, which will take a large amount of investment, and substantial time to lay the cable safely and securely.

The supply chain management processes of the municipality are subject to the oversight and control of the Gauteng province, in line with the Section 139 administration order, and this appears to cause inordinate delays.

In the meantime refrigerators and freezers are not working and the food is rotting.
On top of this, with no power, sewage pump stations cannot pump, so the sewage is flowing freely into the Klip River and into the streets.

Demands for quick action have fallen on unsympathetic ears, as the Provincial COGTA Department plod through their bureaucratic processes with little regard for the lives that they are impacting.

DA ward councillor Dalene Venter has been assaulted twice by angry and desperate residents demanding restoration, which the municipality seems unable to facilitate.

The DA calls on the COGTA Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to urgently intervene where her provincial counterpart has failed the residents of Emfuleni.

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