BY BAFANA NZIMANDE
Several parts of Johannesburg CBD are without electricity due to cable theft.
Thieves gained access to underground tunnels on Sunday morning and burnt the electric cables supplying power to the city.
As a result‚ a massive blackout hit a large part of the city‚ stretching from Carlton Centre to Selby Street.
Many shops are now relying on generators to keep their businesses afloat. Traffic is a headache for both motorists and pedestrians as most traffic lights are not working.
City Power spokesperson Sol Masolo said technicians are still assessing the extent of the damage in the underground tunnels and it is not yet clear when will power be restored.
There was still fire in the underground tunnels on Monday night‚ which made it impossible for technicians to resolve the crisis‚ said Masolo.
“Technicians managed to go inside the underground tunnels this morning (Tuesday). We are waiting for their report which will give us a clear indication on what needs to be repaired‚” he said.
“We hope to get their report later this morning. We apologise to all affected customers. We are doing our best to resolve this situation as soon as possible.”
Thieves burnt the cable to force the power supply to trip‚ making it safe for them to cut the cables. Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said it was the work of a sophisticated syndicate.
Minnaar said no arrest has been made.
Over 150 officers have been deployed in the main intersections to help ease traffic congestion.
“Officers were deployed on Sunday to help with traffic and issues of safety at night. We are aware that criminals might take advantage of this situation‚ hence we have officers stationed at the main intersections and near taxi ranks‚” he said.