Criminals blamed for collapse of seven pylons in Tshwane

Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink has blamed criminals for the collapse of pylons on the N4 highway in Pretoria which led to power outages that left many areas without electricity.

The collapsed seven pylons supported 132kV powerlines.

“There are now clear indications that at least three of the pylons had been vandalised. So, indeed there are strong indications that criminality played a role,” said Brink on Tuesday.

Initial reports showed that six pylons had collapsed, but the City of Tshwane said on Monday evening that seven powerline structures had in fact collapsed, resulting in outages that also disrupted traffic.

According to Selby Bokaba, spokesperson for the city manager Johan Mettler, Eskom has been asked to help supply structures for the powerlines. He said the N4 was reopened on Monday afternoon.

“Tshwane city manager Mr Johann Mettler has dispatched an urgent letter to Eskom in which he requested the power utility to assist the municipality with labour, materials and equipment in a bid to fast-track the restoration of power to areas that are still affected by the massive outage which occurred on Sunday night,” said Bokaba.

Patriotic Alliance councilor in the City of Tshwane Debyre Williams-Moses said: “The damaged pylons were reported since October, and to date nothing was done about the matter.

“This unfortunate disaster could have been avoided if proper maintenance was done to mitigate this situation.

“Some parts in Tshwane have been restored already. In Pretoria east areas, its largely the affluent areas. Other areas such as Eersterust, Mamelodi and surrounding areas have been off since 9.11pm on Sunday.”

The spokesperson for the ANC greater Tshwane caucus, councillor Joel Kgomotso Masilela ka Mahlangu, said: “We are calling upon the municipality to respond much quicker in fixing this problem, as the majority of our residents do not have alternatives for their bathing, cooking, and other activities that heavily rely on electricity.

“Even the business community relies on electricity for their small-scale businesses to survive, any loss of production in the business community may place our communities out of work.

“In some instances, the usage of alternatives such as generators may push the prices of goods and services much higher, at the expense of the consumers who are hard pressed under tough economic conditions.”

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