South Africa: Pimville, Soweto, Residents Without Electricity for Six Weeks

Eskom's national control centre (file photo).
analysis

Residents in Pimville, Soweto, say they have been left without power for six weeks after damage to a transformer that supplies the Zone 2 community.

"My main struggle is spending money on takeaways daily. I cannot afford it anymore. I have a big family," said Tebogo Ntjatje, a Pimville resident.

"Kids have to bath with hot water to prevent them from contracting flu. I have to buy gas to boil water and as I'm self-employed it is difficult with this pandemic and the restrictions that make it hard to work."

Ntjatje, who said he was not prepared for the huge extra costs resulting from the blackouts, spoke as many residents said they have had to throw away perishables because they cannot run their fridges.

Some residents took to social media to vent their frustration at the lengthy power cuts, which led to violent protests on Tuesday 7 July during which police fired rubber bullets and injured a number of community members, including Ntjatje, who was shot in a leg.

According to residents, during a recent engagement with Eskom officials, particularly with one Mr Mtshali over a conference call, they were told that the problem was a damaged transformer and that...

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