Load-shedding Wrecks Havoc In South Africa

South African News You Can Trust.

The community policing forum in Phoenix, Durban, has condemned violent protests sparked by power outages.

CPF spokesperson Umesh Singh told News24 that angry residents burnt tyres, blockaded roads and took to the streets after enduring days of power outages.

Singh said residents, who also suffered water cuts at the same time, were left in the dark by the eThekwini municipality about their service delivery concerns.

He said: “We understand that there is load shedding but, unfortunately, people have been without electricity for days, and they’re not certain about where the problem is. It’s either shoddy workmanship from the side of the eThekwini municipality or they don’t have the equipment to resolve these issues affecting people terribly in that area.”

Singh said while the grievances raised by residents were valid, criminality was a concern.

“There are other ways of showing concern rather than destroying infrastructure. We hope the perpetrators understand that [by causing destruction], they are hurting people who have already been hurt and venting their frustrations in the wrong places,” he said.

DA MPL Bradley Singh told News24 the power was briefly restored for about an hour before it shut down again. He said ward councillors were unfairly blamed by frustrated residents who demanded answers.

“They shouldn’t be angry with the councillors because they live in the same community and they’re also affected by the very same power outages,” he said.

Asked if the City had responded to residents and local leadership, the MPL said, “The eThekwini municipality is useless. They appoint ANC contractors who are making profits while the residents suffer. The contractors fix the cables. The longer they are on site, the more money they make.”

Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said residents protested on Sunday and that calm was restored on Monday.

Durban metro police spokesperson Boysie Zungu told News24 that protest action had been suspended after a meeting between residents and local leaders.

However, eThekwini municipality did not immediately respond to request for comment.

A Journalist, writer and photographer

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