Mayor promises to address power issue, as residents take to the streets

Update: 2pm

Aging electrical infrastructure, capacity expansion and what Roosevelt Park substation has to supply compared to what it was designed for, were the main causes of electricity outages in Northcliff, Roosevelt Park, Victory Park, Fairland and surrounds, according to Councillor Anthony Still from the Environmental and Infrastructure Services Department of the City of Johannesburg.

Still, who was in the presence of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba while addressing a crowd of disgruntled residents on 8 January, said the substation is old and has to be upgraded to hold the current capacity. “The substation is old and has old cables but the bottom line is the capacity issue. The size of feed and the density is more than what it was designed for. So it needs to be upgraded,” he said.

Over 100 residents embarked on a peaceful protest to demand answers from Mashaba about electricity restoration. The residents gathered on Beyers Naudé and Preller drives, blocking traffic for the duration of the meeting.

Mashaba admitted his team had let him down for failing to inform people about what was happening. “The matter came to my attention on Friday. One thing to admit is that my team has let me down. We are failing to communicate with the community in making you aware. Our communication is terrible and unacceptable, he said, adding that he will do whatever is possible in the future to ensure the breakdown does not happen again,” said Mashaba.

Residents of Northcliff, Fairland and Roosevelt Park stand together united in their frustration about the power outage.  Photo: Facebook.

Residents of Northcliff, Fairland and Roosevelt Park stand together united in their frustration about the power outage. Photo: Facebook.

The Roosevelt Park substation has had ongoing electricity disruptions for the past 10 years. According to a Roosevelt Park resident, Dr Peter Jones, the past two years have been the worst.

Mashaba explained what plans the city has for the substation. “This substation is about 50 to 60 years old now and it was built for a certain capacity, and you can imagine the capacity now, it has more than tripled. It can’t cope any longer and we need new infrastructure,” Mashaba said, adding that the project could take up to two years involving a budget of up to R80 million.


Update: 12pm

Furious and frustrated residents are gathering together in their numbers outside of the Roosevelt Park substation today (8 January) due to the massive power outage affecting Northcliff, Roosevelt Park and Fairland.

The community that has gathered outside of the substation are fed up with the lack of response from City Power.

Read: Northcliff power outage leads to rates boycott bid

In a string of responses on Twitter, City Power confirmed various areas including Sundowner and Northcliff are currently experiencing power outages. The entity tweeted that technicians are working on the outage.

Clive Maher of SCP Security urged residents on social media to protest peacefully and have their voices heard regarding the power outage. He added, “The mayor is due to address us shortly at the substation. We will not be posting updates or photos on social media. If you want the answers to the power problem you need to come down here and join your fellow community.”

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba addressed the public outside the substation and listened to their issues.

Watch a video of the discussion below.

Siso Naile

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