Nigel residents fall victim to increased costs, crime amid 5-day power outage

Residents, who have been without power for five days now, have been told by the City of Ekurhuleni that it would take three to six months to find a permanent solution, but power should be restored in another five days.

The collapsed pylon in Nigel, southeast of Johannesburg, that has left resident without power. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – Community members in Nigel have told Eyewitness News of their frustration with continued power outages worsened by crime in the community.

Residents of the area southeast of Johannesburg have been without power for five days after an electricity pylon collapsed following theft.

Residents have been told by the City of Ekurhuleni that it would take three to six months to find a permanent solution, but the power should be restored in five days.

READ: Nigel residents fume over 10-day wait for power restoration after pylon collapse

Residents have said that the crime situation had been exacerbated by the latest power outage.

Most of the recent power cuts were due to vandalism and cable theft.

With something as devastating as COVID-19, a stable power supply was key for patients on oxygen and ventilators.

One resident said that a man in the area had his generator, which he uses for his medical needs, stolen.

“A gentleman that is on oxygen had his generator stolen in broad daylight. The crime is picking up and everyone is suffering.”

Another resident said that they were carrying the cost of the power outage.

“I had to go and buy a generator for R10,000. There is no way something else was going to help us. I am paying up to R1,050 on petrol just to keep my appliances going.”

Her sentiments were echoed by a resident who said that the situation was getting ridiculous.

“I am spending hundreds on candles and wood. It's madness. It’s getting ridiculous. It’s like they are not in a hurry to fix it.”

Unless swift action was taken, crippling power cuts look set to continue indefinitely.

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