Frustrated residents west of Centurion who met to discuss ongoing electricity outages have given the Tshwane metro an ultimatum.
The residents of Raslouw, Wierda Park, Eldoraigne, Erasmia, Laudium, and surrounding areas vowed they would take to the streets if the problem was not resolved.
Convened by an interim committee of residents, the meeting was attended by Environment and Agriculture Management MCC Dana Wannenburg as well as councillors and metro officials.
Chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said the community “has had enough of the poor service delivery from the City”.
“It’s not a threat it’s a promise; if you don’t solve our power problems, we will intensify mass action.”
Other residents said they were suffering because of the power cuts, which had been going on for almost two years.
“There have been over 40 power outages over recent months. This month our electricity went off seven times,” said community representative Amoré Jooste.
She presented files to the councillors with information on their attempts to resolve the problem.
“Residents complained about municipal officials not responding to the outage crisis, losses being suffered because of the power outages and poor communication.”
At the meeting, senior officials from the metro’s electricity department heard residents accuse them of inefficiency and “uselessness”.
Abramjee called on the metro to “fire useless officials who take us for granted”.
In response, the City cited several problems that led to the ongoing outages such as lightning, theft, and vandalism.
Officials said the introduction of an online monitoring system at sub-stations were at tender stage.
In addition, physical security at sub-stations would be beefed up, as would replacement of copper with aluminium cables to curb cable theft as the Sunderland Ridge industrial area had been hard hit by the scourge.
Plans were underway to convert the network from overhead to underground cables with funds earmarked for allocation next year.
The metro noted the concerns of residents and attributed delays in restoring power to officials who wanted to claim overtime.
“We will monitor this immediately. The deliberate sabotage of services will be investigated.”
The alleged inefficiency of the “switching teams” will also be looked at immediately.
Abramjee said the meeting was the first of a series of engagements with the City in an attempt to resolve the power problems.
“We remain confident we can solve these issues without having to take to the streets again.”
Wannenburg said he remained confident that the problem would be resolved as a matter of urgency.
On Tuesday, residents were left without power for almost 20 hours and staged a picket which saw roads being blocked as they expressed their frustration, citing water cuts as a regular occurrence, with no notification by council.