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City Power warns of delays in power restoration

Business in the city have complained about how they can't afford to have an extended blackout as the outage has cost them millions of rands in income.

Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – City Power is hoping that power will be restored in the Johannesburg CBD from Saturday but says it is experiencing challenges which could cause a delay.

Large parts of the city centre have been without power since the weekend when copper thieves gained access to an underground tunnel and burnt cables before cutting kilometres of the metal.

Business in the city have complained about how they can't afford to have an extended blackout as the outage has cost them millions of rands in income.

City Power’s Sol Masondo says: “If we experience challenges, then that process will continue into Sunday and it might even continue into Monday. But the process of switching it back on begins tomorrow.”

On Albertina Sisulu Street the noise of generators buzzed through the buildings used by those who can afford to buy one. For others, there’s no business.

For one hairdresser, who can’t afford to buy the generator, this means there’s no money as she can’t run her business without electricity.

“These two weeks I normally make about R15,000. I haven’t made anything and I have not paid my rent as we speak.”

Another woman who works at gambling company Top Bet is losing thousands of rands per day but still needs to pay staff.

“We’re not making as much as we used to. This is costing us millions, of course, R50,000 a day probably.”

It’s the beginning of the month, which means that people usually spend more but even the busy Carlton Centre is left in the dark because there’s no ventilator for owners to use for their businesses.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)