City Power expresses deep concern and condemnation regarding the persistent attacks on its operators and officials. Recently, an operator en route to Pennyville for power restoration after midnight load-shedding was held at gunpoint, robbed, and almost hijacked on November 19. Subsequently, a team of electricians faced a similar ordeal in Randburg over the weekend.
Isaac Mangena, the utility’s spokesperson, decries these “blatant and cowardly acts of criminality,” emphasising the impact on City Power employees. Incidents of intimidation, assault, and robbery occur monthly, traumatising team members as they perform their duties across Johannesburg. The attacks range from robbery of personal belongings to hijackings and injuries requiring hospitalisation.
Mangena highlights specific incidents, including recent robberies in Pennyville and Randburg. Past occurrences involve attacks in Roodepoort, Lenasia, Alexandra, Far Eastbank, and Hilbrow, with one City Power official spending over a month in ICU after a violent attack during a cut-off operation in Hilbrow.
In response, City Power has withdrawn overnight services in identified hotspots, recognising the challenge of ensuring personnel safety amid nearly 4000 outage calls. Despite additional security measures, there is an ongoing need for JMPD and private security assistance to deliver services to communities without jeopardising technician safety.
Mangena urges residents with information to collaborate with law enforcement to arrest perpetrators. He underscores the profound impact on City Power personnel, emphasising that their primary concern has shifted from workplace hazards to the fear of being attacked or killed by criminals.
The reported crimes have been formally documented with the police. City Power’s call for cooperation underscores the urgency of addressing these security threats to ensure the safety and well-being of their dedicated personnel.
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Photo: Supplied by Randburg Sun