'Unsafe to work': Johannesburg's City Power pulls teams out of flash points
City Power withdrew its operators and technicians overnight from Johannesburg areas plagued by xenophobic attacks, for safety reasons.
The entity said on Sunday night it had been informed of new attacks on businesses and foreigners' homes in areas including the CBD, Jeppestown, Malvern, Johannesburg central, Rosettenville, Hillbrow and Berea.
“These are some of the areas, that include Alexandra and Lenasia, where City Power struggled to operate, or operated limited service, during the recent attacks,” said spokesperson Isaac Mangena.
“Our customers were, and will continue to be, inconvenienced with limited or no response to fault calls in areas where danger is anticipated.”
City Power CEO Lerato Setshedi explained the entity's decision to withdraw services.
“We are doing this for safety reasons of our staff members and contractors.
“We acknowledge, as City Power, the potential safety concerns for our employees due to the continued attacks, protests and lootings. This means that as a service delivery utility, City Power may find it difficult to respond to some of the fault calls in the areas we have identified as flash points,” Setshedi said.
Services that do not require physical visits by City Power staff are continuing, said Mangena. These include the ability of customers to log faults in non-violent areas and vending for electricity.
“City Power will assess the situation on Monday to see if there are any safety improvements and a call will be made daily, with our staff encouraged to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure they are not hurt in the execution of their duties. The violent protests concern us as City Power and the safety of our employees and contractors is of utmost importance.”