Power failure

South Africa: 52 Soweto houses left in darkness for months after substation blows up

Residents of Naledi, Soweto, are fuming after their wait for a replacement of a mini-substation that blew up was prolonged due to the Covid-19 national lockdown.

Community members said 52 households have been without electricity since February 15, and Eskom has kept them in the dark about the return of power.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said Eskom does not have enough mini-substations in their reserve and this has resulted in the delay of deliveries of mini-substations from their suppliers.

The residents yesterday told Sowetan their ward councillor George Basopane never communicated this explanation to them.

Mathews Mamabolo, a community leader in the area, accused Basopane of failing to resolve the matter.

“A few days after the problem occurred, some people in the community tried to fix the issue themselves by calling a private technician. He fixed it but then loadshedding kicked in… it broke again, leaving the 52 houses in the dark,” Mamabolo said.