City Power embarking on safety measure programmeNovember 18, 2022
City Power says it is embarking on a programme to ensure all its substations, mini-substations, transformer substations, and distribution boxes are secured and locked.
The municipal power utility’s spokesperson Isaac Mangena on Friday said they have recorded that many infrastructures have been vandalised and broken into, with locks, doors and handles removed.
Repair damaged infrastructure
“We are, as part of this programme, going around the regions to identify, repair and lock these infrastructures. We have also secured a contract to procure locks and doors, and ensure all are closed.”
“With that being said, we appeal to the residents to desist from taking it upon themselves to put their own locks on City Power infrastructure. We have seen this happening often in different areas,” said Mangena.
Illegal, dangerous and time impacting exercise
He stated that not only was this act illegal, but it was also dangerous and delayed technicians from doing their jobs, which ultimately impacted repairs and restorations, as most of those with the keys are difficult to locate.
City Power also said that it has received many offers from residents, businesses and security companies following engagements with them, to assist in securing the network infrastructure.
“We appreciate the offers and are coordinating this through our Security and Risk Control office. We recognize that we are operating in a highly regulated and dangerous environment, which forces us to undergo rigorous process of applications and approvals for such to be granted.”
“Such agreements with those looking to secure our infrastructure will be through the facilitation and coordination of the Councillors and local Community Policing Forums.”
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Continue working with structures
The power utility added that it would continue to work with recognised structures within the communities to safeguard our infrastructure against vandalism and theft.
Attack on workers
Meanwhile, City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava has condemned the continued attacks on the entity’s employees while doing their job.
It has been reported that two workers in different areas have been attacked in the past 24 hours.
Employee Ratsele Machethe, 53, is in a critical condition in hospital after he was attacked and assaulted in Hillbrow earlier today.
“The employee attached to our Revenue Protection Unit was with a team doing cut off operation on defaulting flat along Wolmarans Street in Hillbrow when they were attacked and stoned by the residents who refused them to do their work, who also threatened to burn their cars.”
Machethe was hit on the head several times with a blunt object and stones and later rushed to Milpark hospital where he is in the ICU with serious head injuries.
Following this attack, City Power decided to withdraw its teams from Hillbrow for safety reasons. The flat that was being cut owes the City of Joburg close to R5 million.
In another incident, a team of contractors working in Alexandra was attacked and hijacked on Thursday.
The team was repairing an outage along 9th Avenue when the incident happened. In both incidents, the police were called and we are hoping the law will take its cause.
“We are really worried about the increase in attacks on our employees, especially at the hands of the community members they are meant to serve. It cannot be right that our teams constantly have to look behind their backs worried about being attacked, robbed, shot or hijacked while doing their work to ensure the residents have electricity.
City Power will remove teams from hostile areas
“We call on the residents to reject and condemn the actions of the few and ensure the safety of municipal workers is guaranteed in their communities,” Mashava.
City Power said it will continue to work with the local Councillors, Saps, JMPD, CPF and community patrollers to ensure its employees and infrastructure is protected from the criminals.
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