The DA demands answers from the executive in the City of Johannesburg, about how security contracts that ensure the safeguarding of critical electrical infrastructure was allowed to lapse. This follows a meeting today, where Councillors were informed that some substations will be left without security for the next four days. The onus for protecting infrastructure now rests on residents.
Bearing in mind the recent surge in theft and vandalism of key electrical infrastructure, combined with higher stages of load-shedding, substations will now be prime targets. The city failed to ensure that contracts are up to date, and has turned an already serious situation into a critical one.
Just last night, an incident was reported where oil was stolen from one of the Eskom transformers at the Randburg Substation – for the second time in a month. Substations without oil can easily overheat, resulting in costly damages at a time when the city can ill afford it.
In a meeting held today Councillors and City Power seniors came together to address issues impacting service delivery. The priority identified was the safeguarding of critical infrastructure from theft and vandalism. While meetings such as these are productive, yet another failing from the city and its entities cannot become rate paying residents’ problem. Not only does the city have a responsibility to protect its infrastructure, but it also has a responsibility towards residents’ safety. One that is being ignored.
Ward Councillors find themselves with no choice but to urgently request Local Community Policing Forums (CPF) and private area security to step up their patrols around known vulnerable substations.
In light of these developments, the safety and security of City of Johannesburg’s infrastructure remain of paramount importance to both the council and its residents. Collaborative efforts between authorities, residents, and private security entities are now essential to safeguarding critical assets and ensuring uninterrupted service delivery.
The city’s Executive and City power must find a swift resolution to this matter, while ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. The city is in trouble, but a failing and leaderless executive lacking in basic contract management is not helping the matter at all.