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City Power working on restoring power to parts of JHB CBD

Large parts of the city were left in the dark when thieves gained access to an underground tunnel and stole copper cables.

The power utility says restoration of power in the Johannesburg CBD will start on Saturday.The repairs included installing new cables, with one drum of cable weighing five tons, with the length of about 20kms. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - City Power says it's in the process of restoring electricity supply to people affected by power cuts in the Johannesburg city centre.

Large parts of the city were left in the dark when thieves gained access to an underground tunnel and stole copper cables.

The utility has apologised to its customers who've been inconvenienced.

Spokesperson Sol Masolo said: “We’re currently testing all the equipment and cables that were recently installed to replace those that were stolen or burnt. Our teams have worked through the night and will continue working through the day and if needs be, we will work throughout the weekend until the last is switched customer’s power is switched back on.”

WATCH: City Power: Cable repair & restoration underway

LOSING MILLIONS

On Friday, businesses owners in the Johannesburg CBD told Eyewitness News how they are losing thousands of rand per day as a result of a major power cut which is now threatening the future of their businesses.

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.

Additional reporting by Mia Lindeque.