Vandalism causes Summer Greens blackout

This transformer on the corner of Lodger and Station roads has also been vandalised in recent years, according to residents.

A vandalised electrical transformer caused a nearly six-hour-long blackout in Summer Greens.

On Friday morning, January 5, residents woke up to no electricity. Resident Tanya Clay said she had thought it was load shedding.

“We are so used to load shedding so I thought that’s what it was. But when the hours rolled by and when I looked at the Eskom schedule, I knew something was wrong. Unfortunately, I’m not on any community WhatsApp groups, so I had to go around asking neighbours if they had power. I was so frustrated. For hours we had no power and my freezer was melting. This is not what I signed up for when I moved to this area 10 years ago. Now it seems like every other week there’s a problem we have to deal with.”

Another resident, Mark Brittle, said vandalism had caused a day-long blackout in the area in 2022.

“So my question is why can’t this be something they can prevent? If it’s happened before, they should have ways to stop this now. Build better infrastructure so it’s not so easy to vandalise, or upgrade the ones they have. Last Friday, I woke up around 8am and there was no power. Electricity only came back around 2pm. That is unacceptable for us paying customers.”

In a statement, the City said that electricity had been restored to the area at 1.38pm on Friday.

“The area fault was caused by infrastructure vandalism. The vandalised infrastructure was replaced and repaired on Friday afternoon. The City is faced with an alarming increase in theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure in areas across the metro. We urge residents to assist us in protecting infrastructure by reporting vandalism and theft of critical electricity infrastructure. Any suspicious behaviour must be reported to the City’s law enforcement agencies or the City’s fraud hotline on 0800 1100 77 or SAPS. SAPS remains the lead authority in crime prevention,” said the City.

Asked what could be done to prevent future incidents of this nature, the City said: “The City’s electricity teams will continue to monitor and protect critical infrastructure in all areas, especially the identified hotspots, and we urge residents to assist us in protecting critical infrastructure against vandalism by reporting to the City and SAPS.”

The City said those who had suffered loss as a result of the blackout could visit its website to submit claims to the insurance department.