...By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media.
Two technicians from the City of Tshwane were robbed and hijacked while attending to a power outage in Saulsville, Pretoria West.
The incident happened on Friday night, 14 April.
According to Selby Bokaba, spokesperson for the City of Tshwane, the technician’s specialised testing equipment and vehicle were taken.
After being robbed, the technicians were then dropped off somewhere in the North of Pretoria, and one of them was shot in the arm.
Technicians from Switching Section
The technicians were from the Switching Section and were on their way to restore power in the area.
Bokaba expressed his disappointment with the incident and said that it may affect future response times to similar incidents.
He also mentioned that there have been several similar incidents recently in Tshwane.
Hostage Situation in Morula View
In a recent incident, nine Eskom employees were held hostage in Mabopane.
Angry community members in Morula View held them against their will, demanding the replacement of a mini substation.
The power utility’s employees were later freed by the police.
No one was injured during the incident.
Eskom Gauteng spokesperson, Amanda Qithi, explained that the hostage situation arose from the community’s demands for a mini-substation replacement in their area.
She also highlighted the high incidents of equipment failure that Eskom has experienced due to the network being overloaded through illegal connections, unauthorised operations to the network, meter bypasses, tampering and infrastructure vandalism.
Delays in Attending to Outages
Bokaba warned that there will be delays in attending to medium voltage outages in Region 3 due to the hijacking of the technicians and the theft of the municipality truck at Fortsig, which also occurred on Friday night.
He called on communities to take a stand, support and protect City employees and assets.
The incident of robbery and hijacking of technicians in Tshwane highlights the dangerous conditions in which essential service workers operate.
The incident is an unfortunate reminder of the risks and challenges faced by those tasked with restoring power during outages.
The recent spate of similar incidents in Tshwane is also concerning and underscores the need for community members to support and protect essential service workers.
While the community’s concerns and grievances need to be addressed, violent action and criminal behaviour are unacceptable and will only exacerbate the challenges faced by all involved.
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