07 March 2019
City Power expresses concern in regard to people building on servitudes
City Power would like to once again express serious concern at the continued allowance of people to build houses along and under the electrical pylons.
As seen in Stjwetla informal settlement in Alexandra, this poses a serious danger and may lead to disasters including injuries or deaths.
Preliminary investigation by City Power suggests that the fire at the informal settlement was started by a make-shift brazier (mbawula) which was left unattended in a shack built inside the pylon.
At least three shacks were constructed right inside City Power's pylon that caught fire and fell on nearby trees.
Close to 200 others are built along the electricity servitude under City Power (88kv) and Eskom (275kv) overhead lines, with about 100 of them razed to the ground during this fire.
"The issue of buildings under our lines is a serious one and should concern all. Luckily no one was killed in this disaster but it could have been worse," said City Power CEO Lerato Setshedi.
"We urge government authorities to step in and ensure people are removed from under the electrical pylons and other infrastructure," added Setshedi.
"Fortunately our system managed to work according to design and tripped before the live wires could reach the ground. We could be talking several casualties," he added.
City Power has deployed all teams to the area to ensure we are responding to this disaster timeously and in a safe manner.
"Even when we dismantle the damaged structure and try to install new ones, we have to ensure public safety.
"We are working with other entities and departments to ensure we respond properly in a coordinated manner." "There are actions we can take especially around restoring electricity and rebuilding electricity infrastructure. But there is external dependencies, for example on where the people should be housed which is the competency of the Housing Department," Setshedi added.
City Power has started with the work of clearing the rubble and the damaged infrastructure.
We appeal to the residents to cooperate and allow out machinery access to some areas where our infrastructure is locked which is surrounded by shacks.
We anticipate that it will take about two to three weeks to finish the job, with costs estimated to between R3 and 5 million.
Issued by City Power.
For Media queries please contact:
Isaac Mangena, Spokesperson on 0614442320