Home­less peo­ple ‘in­vade’ sub­sta­tions

The Star Late Edition - - METRO - KHAYA KOKO [email protected] @khayakoko88

HOME­LESS peo­ple “in­vad­ing” City Power sub­sta­tions for shel­ter are a “wide­spread prob­lem” which causes death and mil­lions of rand in lost in­fra­struc­ture for the Joburg en­tity.

This was ac­cord­ing to City Power spokesper­son Isaac Man­gena, who said yes­ter­day that the cost of last week’s fire at the en­tity’s trans­former sub­sta­tion near New­clare, which claimed the life of one home­less per­son and in­jured an­other, could be up to a mil­lion rand be­cause of the dam­age to in­fra­struc­ture.

City Power said it be­lieved last week’s fire was started by the two home­less peo­ple who al­legedly used the trans­former sub­sta­tion as a place to sleep.

Man­gena said the use of the en­tity’s sub­sta­tions was “a wide­spread prob­lem” due to the high num­ber of home­less peo­ple re­quir­ing shel­ter. “This is be­cause there are a lot of home­less peo­ple who in­vade (the sub­sta­tions) and make them their homes.

“They break the locks which we use to se­cure the sub­sta­tions and move in with their be­long­ings. The sub­sta­tions are warm be­cause of the power that is gen­er­ated.

“So, dur­ing cold or rainy weather, you will find that many home­less peo­ple use our sub­sta­tions as shel­ter. That is where the worry is, as seen with what hap­pened last week,” Man­gena said.

“The cost to re­place a sub­sta­tion can reach up to a mil­lion rand.

“We were forced to re­place that trans­former sub­sta­tion with a mini sub­sta­tion.

“That mini sub­sta­tion, on its own, costs just over R600 000, and there are many other things which are at­tached to that cost. So, it is a huge amount of money, as you can imag­ine.

“An­other ma­jor cost is that of in­con­ve­nienc­ing other peo­ple in that area be­cause now they have not had elec­tric­ity for the past three days,” Man­gena added.

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