|Municipal Manager, Sam Shabalala worried with the increasing acts of vandalism|
|Thursday, 10 May 2012 09:28|
Emfuleni warns residents and vandals against acts of vandalism and breakdown of the municipal infrastructure. This follows the destruction of electricity infrastructure, digging of roads, destructions of robots lights and stop signs and attacks on the homes of councillors in the area during the so-called service delivery protest.
"We shall be taking strong action against individuals responsible for the sabotaging of public property,” says Municipal Manager, Mr. Sam Shabalala. “I am confident that the vandals will be charged and prosecuted and that more arrests will be made.”
Members of the Emfuleni Mayoral Committee, Veli Mcera (Community Safety) and Sello Pitso (Infrastructure Services and Public Works) met with the South African Police Services in Vanderbijlpark, earlier in the year to address the latest incidents. The meeting at the Vanderbijlpark Police station was also attended by representatives from Eskom.
“We are satisfied that the SAPS understand the gravity of the situation and that they will act decisively against those who damage equipment and engage in mob violence,” Veli Mcera says.
“These acts of sabotage have left many families in Emfuleni without power during the coldest week of the year.” Following on a request from Executive Mayor Hlongwane, technicians from Electricity Department had to move into the Vanderbijlpark area in the early hours of the morning to restore power to more than 600 households who pay for their electricity but were disconnected because of the vandalism.
These were after the Bush Buck Substation network in Vanderbijlpark were torn apart. These substations were secured with burglar doors but they were removed to be sold to scrap-yards, and the same time securing these areas as their homes. Electricity Department is continuing with repairs to the damaged infrastructure and substations.
The municipality is appealing to the communities to report anyone entering the substations. Communities are also encouraged to meet with the officials of the department to discuss issues related to electricity. Municipal Manager, Sam Shabalala apologises to residents who are continuously being inconvenienced by these outages. “There is a very small minority of ringleaders responsible for the damage”.
More than 60% of Emfuleni residents are paying for their electricity – and we will ensure that they receive the services they are entitled to” he says.
By Stanley Gaba