Soweto residents gear up to march to Mayor’s office to deliver petition over electricity cuts

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The City of Johannesburg says it remains committed to service delivery including in Soweto. This comes as Soweto residents gear up to march to the mayor’s office on Tuesday to deliver a petition protesting power outages.

The march follows a violent protest in the township on Monday. Mayoral Spokesperson, Mabine Seabe, claims that it is not the City’s responsibility to switch off electricity for the residents.

“What’s important to note is that Soweto is in its majority supplied by Eskom, not Johannesburg City Power. And as a City, we, therefore, have no control or management over the electricity supply in the Soweto community. Of course, it’s not something that we’re just leaving because it’s becoming a situation that’s completely untenable and there are ongoing conversations with Eskom,” explains Seabe.

A large police contingent has been deployed to Soweto amidst threats of a mass shutdown. Residents blockaded several main roads in the township with burning tyres and rocks on Monday.

Scores of disgruntled residents were protesting over constant power outages and other service delivery issues.

“We are already on the ground in numbers monitoring. We are well capacitated as law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with lawbreakers. Undercover officers will be deployed to strategic areas. No to disruptions of streets, no disruption of schools, no to disruption of traffic or busses. Intimidating people going to work and acts of violence won’t be tolerated and will be dealt with harshly,” says Gauteng Traffic police spokesperson Obed Sibasa.

 VIDEO: Mass protest action expected in Soweto on Tuesday