Soweto residents take to the street, demanding free electricity, housing and land


Soweto residents have taken to the streets on Tuesday demanding free electricity, housing and land.

Residents of Soweto and various other townships threatened to shut the province down ahead of the State of the Province Address by Premier David Makhura.

They say they are fed up with electricity cuts that go on for days.


This comes also a day before Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his budget speech.

Eskom has been cutting power to thousands of Soweto residents.

The area owes the utility billions of rands.

Eskom is owed more than R30-billion from various municipalities and has vowed to be more aggressive in collecting debt from defaulting municipalities.

Earlier this month, chaos and violent protest erupted in Soweto, after residents blockaded roads and set fire to tyres. Several regions have seen their electiricity cut-off by Eskom after the municipalities of Soweto failed to settle their debts with the energy firm. The tense stand-off  inadvertently caused a traffic nightmare in parts of Johannesburg.

A few electrical boxes supplying the areas with power are now guarded by groups of residents “armed with whistles” to ensure that Eskom employees do not return to disconnect their power.

READ ALSO: Hell no, we won’t pay for electricity Soweto residents revolt against R17 billion Eskom debt

Meanwhile, other Soweto residents are simply bypassing Eskom’s rules and hooking themselves up to the mains via illegal connections. The situation could turn ugly, and we’ll have updates of any developments as we get them.


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