Petition delivered to suspend load-shedding in East Joburg suburbs

Issued by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Johannesburg East Constituency Head
19 Feb 2024 in Press Statements

DA ward councillors Carlos da Rocha and Neuren Pietersen today handed over more than 2000 names on a petition to suspend load-shedding while repairs are done to the Observatory and Bellevue substations in east Johannesburg.

See video and photo here.

The petition was given to a representative from the office of City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava at their Reuven headquarters.

It calls for a load shedding pause for wards 66, 67 and 118 as residents face a third month of power outages due to failures at the Observatory and Bellevue substations.

It follows a fire in December last year at the Observatory substation, which cut power to thousands of residents in Yeoville, Bellevue, Bertrams, Upper Houghton, Kensington, Bezuidenhout Valley, Cyrildene, Dewetshof, Observatory, Bruma and surrounding areas.

But power outages have continued after the repair, which City Power claimed had solved the problem. This past weekend was particularly difficult with widespread power cuts, and many people were out for days on end.

City Power now says cables need a major upgrade, and a new transformer for the overloaded substations. They say disruptions can be expected for the rest of the year as a new transformer is purchased and installed.

Clr Da Rocha is most concerned that the ageing Observatory substation could collapse completely with constant switching on and off.

Another problem, according to Cllr Pietersen, is that cables are stolen when the power is off, which makes things worse.

A load-shedding pause will give relief to residents and speed up repairs as technicians cannot work on the network when it is off.

I will be writing to Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Mzi Khumalo to use his provincial powers to ensure Johannesburg Council addresses this problem which badly affects about 100 000 people.