The Joburg City Power demolished two houses in Alexandra over the weekend because they were on top of faulty power cables. The residents were left without electricity for some days, leading to the decision to knock down the houses to access the faulty cables. According to Eyewitness News, Busisiwe Mncobo and her family, who had lived in one of the houses, were not notified to vacate the premises before demolition. They have since moved to a nearby house where they must pay R900 monthly rent.
Isaac Mangena, the Joburg City Power spokesperson, stated that the demolition was necessary due to the prolonged power outages in the area. Therefore, the community leaders demolished the houses as they could not continue without electricity. However, Mangena stated that the families did not receive demolition notices because somebody illegally built the houses.
Mangena further explained that Joburg City Power’s strategy is to remove and put all underground cables overhead. However, he highlighted that the relocation of people is outside their mandate. Instead, they are calling on the Department of Housing and others responsible for enforcing bylaws to ensure that authorities can remove people who live around or along servitudes to prevent danger and delays in repair and restoration work.