Eskom has pulled out of several violent parts of Khayelitsha.
- The driver managed to escape to safety.
- An Eskom minivan burst into flames in an arson attack.
- Now Eskom has pulled the plug on electricity repairs in numerous parts of Khayelitsha – until it is safe.
Eskom has pulled out of several violent parts of Khayelitsha – after attacks on its staff.
This comes after a full week of protests and land grabs across the area and other surrounding areas of Cape Town.
#EskomWesternCape has suspended operations in Khayelitsha, Cape Town with immediate effect after an Eskom vehicle was stoned and set alight. We will continue assessing the risk and provide an update when the situation has changed. pic.twitter.com/d6muxTWGr1
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) July 20, 2020
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana told News24 that “cases of public violence and malicious damage to property are under investigation following the protest action in Khayelitsha, where a bus was damaged and [an] Eskom vehicle torched”.
Eskom reported it “fears for the safety of staff after two violent incidents occurred involving Eskom vehicles”.
“The first vehicle was stoned and set alight by protestors in Khayelitsha. The driver managed to escape unharmed. The second vehicle was stoned in the Bardale area in Mfuleni. The employees managed to escape both incidents unharmed and evacuated the area safely,” the power utility reported.
Alwie Lester, General Manager for Distribution, Western Cape, said of the attack: “Eskom strongly condemns the harassment of its employees, who are simply carrying out their duties. We have taken the decision to withdraw all Eskom services to parts of Khayelitsha and the entire Bardale area in Mfuleni.
“Unfortunately, customer faults will not be attended to until these areas are declared safe for Eskom to return,” he said.
The parts of Khayelitsha where services have been withdrawn are:
- Sections A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; RR, DD, DT and BM
- Site B;
- Site C;
“Eskom is working closely with the local SAPS and Eskom Security Services to ensure the safety of its staff when working in these areas”.
Eskom said it believed the violent attack was linked to local protests and “the recent spike in land invasions”.
Rwexana said public order police and other law enforcement agencies were in the area, monitoring the situation. No arrests had been made, but police would remain in the area until the situation was “back to normal”.
Eskom made the following public call: “We emphasise our call to the community to support Eskom and report incidents by contacting the Eskom Toll-Free Crime Hotline 0800 11 27 22 or SMS Crime Line on 32211. Callers may remain anonymous”.