South Africa: Cops Ready for Gauteng Shutdown Over Electricity, Service Delivery Issues

25 February 2020

Law enforcement agencies are ready to respond to a planned shutdown in Soweto and other parts of Gauteng on Tuesday over electricity and other service delivery issues.

"Officers will be deployed and we will work with other law enforcement agencies," said Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar. "We will deal with it as it unfolds."

The other agencies include the police as well as the provincial and national traffic police.

Residents from Soweto, Alexandra, Tembisa, Eldorado Park and the Vaal are expected to participate in the shutdown.

The Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee planned to shut down the suburb this week after holding a rally on Sunday to challenge a R18bn electricity bill, EWN reported.

Residents were furious about Eskom's so-called bullying tactics aimed at Soweto and other poor areas, according to The Star.

They will reportedly block roads and interfere with shopping malls and business operations in targeted areas.

Organiser Thami Hukwe told Jacaranda FM they wanted an immediate response to their long-time demands, which included free and quality electricity as well as decent housing and jobs.

In January, Eskom warned it was continuing with a campaign it started in Gauteng last year to cut off power to users who had failed to pay or rigged illegal connections, Fin24 reported.

Gauteng Eskom spokesperson Reneiloe Semenya said at the time the utility's campaign to install prepaid meters in private homes was gaining momentum, but that some users sought to undermine the campaign by using fraudulent electricity tokens from bogus metering companies or tampering with the meters.

- Compiled by Jenna Etheridge

Source: News24

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