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Bara blackout blamed on employees

Two employees received written warnings for failing to prevent a power outage in January.

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Disciplinary action has been taken against two employees at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto after a recent power cut at the facility.

The pair received written warnings today after it emerged that they failed to prevent the black out last month.

Parts of the one of the largest hospitals in the world were brought to a standstill when the generators failed to kick in during the outage.

The employees allegedly failed to refuel the generators leaving operating theatres without power for about eight hours.

Gauteng health spokesperson Simon Zwane says the situation could have been avoided.

"They have been disciplined for failing to act speedily to ensure that the generators were in a working state."

Zwane says the two also failed to run the necessary equipment checks.

He says the department will ensure that an oversight of this nature does not happen again.

"If they had acted quickly, the situation could have been avoided. There are regular checks but we are now insisting that they are done much more than they were before."

The hospital has suffered rolling outages for several years, with problems in 2011 and 2012 forcing surgeons to either abandon work or continue with the use of cell phone lights.