Residents of Ivory Park in Region A on Saturday, 09 October 2021, shared their frustrations of prolonged electricity blackouts by Eskom with the City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Councillor Mpho Moerane, in their appeal for a speedy resolution.
The Mayor and Members of the Mayoral Committee, accompanied by City Power, had taken the City’s Accelerated Service Delivery Programme to Rabie Ridge, Ivory Park, in the north of Johannesburg, following complaints of up to 40 Eskom transformers currently damaged and left unrepaired for five months in the area.
The Ivory Park oversight visit comes a day after Johannesburg signed a new Power Purchase Agreement with the privately owned Kelvin Power Station to increase the City’s capacity to supply electricity to north-eastern suburbs of Johannesburg.
Speaking during the inspection of the damaged transformers that Ivory Park residents have reported to Eskom, Mayor Moerane said: “The complaints expressed by residents relate to Eskom’s failure to respond to residents’ customer service queries and not attending to reports of either vandalised or damaged transformers as a result of overloading also attributed to illegal connections in the area.”
“The residents have indicated that they are not against paying for electricity, however, they were concerned that Eskom does not respond to their customer queries,” he said.
The residents further accused Eskom’s senior regional technician of being biased towards poor communities in Region A in favour of affluent areas where they pointed out that customer response turnaround times would never be five months.
The Mayor repeatedly explained to residents who had approached him during the oversight visit that the main cause of the damage to the transformers was also overloading due to properties with backroom tenants serviced by a transformer with a limited capacity.
“A property owner with additional two to three families who are backroom tenants on their properties need to apply for bigger capacity transformers to supply their homes to cater for the added demand that is heavy on the current transformers and causing them to fail or explode,” he said.
Mayor Moerane acknowledged the residents’ complaints and pleas, but also told them that they too were expected to play their part and do away with illegal connections that were adding uncatered for demand on electricity transformers – causing them to explode and to be without electricity supply for a long time.