Even the rain did not stop the angry residents of Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg from marching during their #LetThereBeLight campaign. The march happened on 05 December 2019, as the residents were marching to the Eskom offices to hand in a memorandum of their demands. The residents are not happy about Eskom’s strategy of leaving the whole Orange Farm in the dark as the power utility has disconnected the area.
All started when the electricity transformers became damaged in other extensions and when the residents complained to Eskom. Eskom refused to fix the transformers with officials saying it has been more than 20 years that people of Orange farm don’t pay for their electricity. Now it is difficult for Eskom to restore new transformers instead they should take all the electricity boxes out of their homes, the officials concluded.
Eskom wants each household to pay R6 000 before it can restore power and install new boxes. Failing to do this Eskom, accompanied by the Red Ants, will go house to house to disconnect the prepaid metre boxes in households that don’t buy electricity. It is reported that the ward councilor also knows about this matter but he is doing nothing to help the people of Orange farm.
The residents tried to negotiate with Eskom officials explaining that they cannot afford to pay the money as many people in the area are not employed. In other homes people survive through social grants but still the negotiations were unsuccessful.
The residents say they should stay together to fight Eskom not to take their electricity boxes but Eskom should fix damaged transformers and but new boxes to all.