In the City of Johannesburg, councillors cannot instruct officials on how to do their jobs to prevent the abuse of power and corruption. During challenging periods such as the present, with issues like load-shedding, potholes, and water infrastructure problems, ward councillors bear the brunt of the community’s frustration. It is important to remember the extent of the councillors’ authority during this time.
According to City Power’s spokesperson, Isaac Mangena, load-shedding, especially at Stage 6, is unavoidable until Eskom resolves its capacity challenges. He also stated that due to the number of blocks added to the outage schedule, most customers should anticipate experiencing load-shedding more than three or four times a day. As a result, ward councillors have limited control over the situation.
While acknowledging that they are not electricians or plumbers, ward councillors such as Nicole van Dyk of Ward 99 and Nicole Jonker of Ward 88 do what they can to help by escalating problem calls and overseeing projects. However, despite their best efforts, the infrastructure’s age and decay often mean the city officials’ hands are tied. This limitation leads to the residents’ dissatisfaction and disappointment when they contact the councillors for a solution.
City Power strives to provide councillors with the necessary information to support their communities on all electricity service issues.