The City of Joburg has spoken out against Eskom’s decision to cut electricity supply to millions of Soweto residents on Friday evening.
Large parts of Soweto were plunged into darkness on Friday after the parastatal disconnected services to the township, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Matshidiso Mfikoe said in a statement on Saturday.
“The decision to leave Soweto residents without electricity for this prolonged period of time is insensitive, inhumane and smacks of unbridled arrogance,” said Mfikoe.
“What exacerbates this irrational decision is the deafening silence and indifference on the part of Eskom which shows complete and utter disregard to the people of Soweto.”
The power outage in Soweto comes on the back of protests by Orlando West residents over the utility’s decision to install prepaid electricity meters.
On Thursday, fifteen people were arrested for public violence in Orlando West after protesters threatened to burn down a well-known restaurant, News24 reported.
Johannesburg metro police Superintendent Edna Mamonyane said the protesters wanted to pursue the hostile action “so that Eskom takes them seriously”.
Mfikoe, meanwhile, said the city is still holding out for a solution to be agreed with Eskom.
“The City of Johannesburg will constructively engage Eskom to find a speedy, lasting and amicable resolution to this impasse.
“We believe that collectively we can find a middle ground and establish a working relationship that will ensure that this unfortunate incident does not recur,” Mfikoe added.