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Mapetla residents organise meeting with Eskom after protest

With the help of police, residents in Mapetla, Soweto convened a community meeting with local councillor and Eskom after they took to the streets on Wednesday, demanding electricity.

It is alleged that residents in the area have not been having electricity for 2 months due to their Eskom debt.

Soweto owes Eskom R17 billion and residents of Mapetla extension donated R25 000 to hand over to Eskom but Gauteng News is told that Eskom rejected the money. 

Community leader Tumi Mogole said, “We have been trying to arrange a meeting with Eskom but everytime when we approach them, we told they are attend a meeting. This is frustrating because it’s not the whole of Mapetla that has power cuts and most residents who have electricity haven’t been paying Eskom.”

Eskom does not affect most local businesses, however learners from Rashoma High school were disrupted by the protest and the school had to close early.

Provincial spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela said, “As police we are facilitating the relevant authorities to come and address the community, so they will come to them. Now they are busy confirming when the meeting will take place. Currently there are no arrests.”

Local residents added that Wednesday morning people from the Mapetla hostel came with guns and sjamboks to remove rocks that were used to barricade the streets.

 Victor Crooks who is a member of the community in the area said, “Men from hostel came with weapons to intimidate us. They removed the rocks from the street and the situation led to residents and Mapetla hostel residents to stone each other. These people are local taxi drivers and they only care about using the road than supporting community members.”

The relevant authorities have not confirmed the meeting with the community and Gauteng News will continue to follow the story. 

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