Mon. Nov 30th, 2020

Naledi residents disrupt elections after being without electricity for months

Some Naledi residents have been without electricity for five or six months, others for more than nine months.

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Residents from Naledi, Soweto, on Tuesday 11 November barricaded roads and disrupted by-elections to protest being without electricity for more than nine months.

More than 400 candidates are battling it out across 95 wards, with polling stations erected at the Methodist Church in Naledi. However, residents brought today’s activities to a halt.

Naledi protests: What we know

As reported by eNCA, authorities “broke off two locks obstructing the entrance to the voting venue and urged protesters to allow voting to commence”.

Residents who had in the dark, not figuratively, for months demanded that official intervene, and have barricaded roads with rocks and burning tires to disrupt the by-elections.

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Image via Twitter/Fredzilla13. Caption: “This happened a stone throw away from Naledi Police Station”.

 The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) confirmed that they are at the scene to “engage with residents”. JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla told EWN:

“The roads have been barricaded with rocks and burning tires. JMPD officers are on scene engaging with residents to allow people to vote while the community waits for Eskom and provincial officials to address their issues”.

Some residents have been without electricity for five or six months, others for more than nine months. Following the protests, Gauteng Premier, David Makhura promised to intervene.

The eNCA’s Heidi Giokos reported from the scene and confirmed that Makhura vowed electricity would be restored by 27 November 2020. He claims that a backlog in stock led to power outages.

Watch: David Makhura at Naledi protests

The premiere claims that a “mini substation is needed to restore electricity” in Naledi, but stock unavailability delayed the process and officials are “still waiting for stock”.

He said it’s “on the top of his list to sort out”. However, Naledi residents claim that it’s been Makhura’s “excuse for months”. One netizen said the premiere “should stop lying to people to gain votes”.

“We put our microphone in to listen to Makhura and perhaps ask a question. He tells me he needs to talk to Eskom first and to the people before he can speak”.

Makhura allegedly said, “I will not talk to you now”.

Giokos also reports that EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi “intervened earlier on Wednesday morning and asked residents to take their frustrations out on government with their votes, not the IEC”.

Eskom responds to Naledi protests

Eskom spokesperson Reneilwe Semenya told 702 that the power utility plans to restore electricity to Naledi.

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