‘Tampering amounts to terrorism’

Gauteng MEC for safety and security Faith Mazibuko has said that tampering with infrastructure amounts to terrorism.

According to her, the hawks, state security and intelligence officials were probing the case. “What has happened cannot go unchallenged. This country can’t be turned into a banana republic. The centre of the country’s economic nerve has been put at risk. It is at a standstill. People are put at risk. We want to ensure people that we are on their side.

Overtime pay at City Power is at the centre of the crippling power outages which have seen most parts of Joburg go without power since Wednesday.

At a press conference held at City Power’s head office in Booysens this afternoon, the utility’s managing director Sicelo Xulu revealed that the company has been spending more than R213 million on overtime pay annually on its employees.

An angry Xulu also revealed that some employees clocked up to 200 hours in overtime on the monthly basis so as to claim overtime and milk the system.

He said workers, and technicians in particular went on strike when the company announced that the shift system will be changed to stop workers from claiming overtime.

After the company announced the change in the shift system, Xulu said some bitter technicians went on strike. Some, said Xulu decided to go tamper with substations, switching them off.

Xulu was flanked by Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau, MECs for safety and security and economic development Faith Mazibuko and Eric Xayiya. Tau profusely apologised to the residents of Gauteng. “There was tampering with infrastructure. Investigations are under way to identify the individuals responsible. We are busy with the restoration process now.”

Xulu said City Power will issue hourly updates on the progress made in restoring power.

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