Donovan Nelson, Ward 65 councillor
In light of the recurring extended outages caused by cable theft and infrastructure vandalism, as councillor of Ward 65, I have recognised the critical need for high-level intervention. With a strong commitment to resolving this pressing issue, an action plan was implemented in collaboration with the energy department.
The action plan comprises the following key measures, aimed at addressing the outages and ensuring effective communication with the community:
1. Request for urgent briefing: I have written to the Depot Management, urgently seeking a comprehensive briefing on the underlying causes of the outages. I emphasise the importance of receiving factual information rather than mere speculation.
2. Meeting request with Mayco member for energy: In an effort to ensure that the residents, who elected her, receive accurate information, I have also written to the Mayco member for energy, requesting an urgent meeting with the Ward 65 community. This meeting will provide an opportunity for residents to hear directly from the responsible officials.
3. Engagement with Metal Theft Unit: Recognising the role of illegal scrap yards in, which enables cable theft, as well as the Metal Theft Unit. I requested a report on the number of operations conducted in the area and, in the absence of sufficient actions, urged immediate initiation of such operations.
4. Collaboration with neighbourhood watches: Plans to meet with all neighbourhood watches in the area urgently. The objective of this meeting is to develop a coordinated approach, involving all relevant stakeholders, to combat the prevalent scourge of vandalism and theft targeting the electrical infrastructure.
Acknowledging the hardships faced by residents due to prolonged electricity outages, I am expressing deep gratitude for their patience. These outages have severe implications on their well-being, livelihoods, and ability to provide for their families. Criminals are taking advantage of the Eskom-load shedding levels, making it challenging to predict when and where they will strike. With limited resources to patrol every street, collective efforts are crucial in overcoming this issue.
Unity is important and we urge residents to join forces in the fight against cable theft and vandalism.
Residents of Ward 65 are invited to attend the upcoming meetings where I will further address these concerns and foster a collective approach to resolving the challenges at hand.