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2011-07-07: Mayor Tau welcomes arrest of vandalism suspects

Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor, Clr Mpho Parks Tau, has welcomed the arrest of five suspects responsible for public violence in Chiawelo, Soweto. This follows the destruction of electricity infrastructure and attacks on the homes of councilors in the area.

"This demonstrates that we are taking strong action against individuals responsible for the sabotaging of public property,” says Mayor Tau.

“I am confident that the vandals will be charged and prosecuted and that more arrests will soon be made.”

Members of the Johannesburg Mayoral Committee, Matshidiso  Mfikoe (Community Safety) and Ross Greeff (Infrastructure Services and Environment) met with the National Police Commissioner, Gen Bheki Cele and Gauteng Commissioner Mzwandile Petros, earlier today to address the latest incidents.  The meeting at the Moroka Police station was also attended by representatives from Eskom and City Power.

“We are satisfied that the SAPS understand the gravity of the situation and that they will act decisively against those who damage equipment and engage in mob violence,” he says.

“Their acts of sabotage have left many families in Soweto without power during the coldest week of the year.”

Following on a request from Mayor Tau technicians from Eskom moved into the area in the early hours of the morning to restore power to more than 600 households who pay for their electricity but were disconnected because of the vandalism.

Eskom is continuing with repairs to the damaged infrastructure and substations.
The City will meet with community members of Chiawelo tomorrow afternoon (7 July) to discuss issues related to electricity.

Mayor Tau says the City and Eskom apologises to residents who have been inconvenienced by the outages.  “There is a very small minority of ringleaders responsible for the damage. 

More than 90% of Chiawelo residents are paying for their electricity – and we will ensure that they receive the services they are entitled to” he says.

He also called on the community to support the SAPS and the JMPD by reporting acts of vandalism, illegal connections and cable theft.

Issued by:
City of Johannesburg

Enquiries contact:
Nthatisi Modingoane
Deputy Director: Communications
Tel: (011) 407 7354
Fax: 403 3494
Cell: 082 467 9228