Police have reportedly arrested 10 men following a massive protest over loss of electricity supply in Wesbank, Cape Town on Monday, May 24.
According to News24, the men aged between 16 and 32, were arrested for malicious damage to property and public violence.
The protest brought traffic to a standstill, as angry mobs of the community burnt tyres and barricaded roads.
#Unrest Today’s unrest in WESBANK TOWNSHIP CAPE TOWN. Several roads around the area was closed for tge whole day. Running battles between @SAPoliceService and Protesters. Watch footage as received. @BOSBEER2006 @MARIUSBROODRYK @1SecondLater @eNCA @News24 pic.twitter.com/xP8lV6RBo1
— BOSBEER.COM (@BOSBEER2006) May 24, 2021
Police remained in the area.
In a statement on Tuesday, the power utility said Wesbank was left without electricity yet again due to vandalism of network infrastructure just hours after repairing a vandalised cable to restore electricity in the area.
Eskom infrastructure vandalised again leaving Wesbank customers without supply pic.twitter.com/FgeXq2mhHQ
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) May 25, 2021
“Electricity supply to customers was restored at approximately 23:00 on Monday evening after operators repaired a cable on the Saxdown Overhead 3 that was vandalised and left the Wesbank without electricity.
“Operators are currently on site doing repairs. Due to the extent of the damage, however, the estimated time for restoration has not yet been established,” the utility said.
General Manager Western and Eastern Cape Cluster, Eskom Distribution Alwie Lester said theft and vandalism were the dominant cause of unplanned outages and interruptions.
“Eskom is not in a position to continually replace stolen and vandalised equipment across the province and in particular in the metro area. We call upon communities to please safeguard this infrastructure and report any incident or individual; who is involved in this theft and vandalism. This debilitates our service provision to communities,” said Lester.
Last year in July, violence erupted in the area after the community was left without electricity for more than a week.
Netwerk24 reported at the time that residents barricaded streets and highways.
The report quoted local ward councillor Ibrahim Sawant as saying that Wesbank was one of the hardest-hit communities with power failures that went on for days.
Picture: Cape Town etc gallery