Electric joy for Braamfischerville as City Power transformers restore power after 11 months in the dark

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi hugs a member of the Braamfischerville community, who thanks him for the transformer installation. Picture: Supplied

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi hugs a member of the Braamfischerville community, who thanks him for the transformer installation. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 11, 2024


The transformers were delivered, and then there was light! After almost one year without electricity, Hlanganani residents in Braamfischerville, Soweto, are smiling from ear-to-ear after they recently took delivery of a City Power sponsored and Premier Panyaza Lesufi championed transformers in the poor community.

Although many were left in elation, some have questioned why it took so long to replace the defective transformers - and why now - just two months before the May 29 general elections.

The streets of Braamfischerville came alive with song and loud cheers this past weekend as Gauteng Premier Lesufi replaced two transformers. He was accompanied by MEC for Economic Development, Mzi Khumalo and City Power technicians.

One of those who was grateful for the transformer was 59-year-old Dineo Sibisi.

Sibisi, who is known as Mam’ Sibisi, is a resident of the impoverished community, said she would save money as gas was expensive.

“We are grateful to Panyaza for taking such an initiative, this issue of transformers has affected our lives in the most negative way.

“In this economy, we had to make means and buy gas stoves that had to be refilled every week. I had to pay R210 to refill my 10kg gas bottle every week, at least now we have our lights back on and we will buy electricity like everyone else which is cheaper,” said Mam Sibisi.

A young mother of two, Mandisa Mncube, 31, said her prayers have been answered.

“I am happy that my children will now be able to prepare for school in a warm house. I was stressed and worried that we will face another winter without electricity and seeing how the last winter has affected them with fever, I hope a situation like this never happens again,” she said.

Some community members from neighbouring blocks questioned why he was only coming now.

Simphiwe Mavimbela from Super Block, also in Braamfisherville, said their pain had lasted 11 months..

“We we went to Eskom to inquire about transformers we were told there is a queue and we have to wait for our turn”.

Although Simphiwe had electricity unlike some of her neighbours, she said it was painful that adults had to beg neighbours to charge their phones because of the issues with transformers.

Residents explained that some houses in the neighbourhood did have electricity throughout the 11 months period of darkness, but others were affected. The issue of illegal electricity connections is understood to be an issue on the community as well.

One of the new transformers replaced by City Power. Picture: Supplied

Lesufi has pleaded with the community to protect the transformers and urged them to pay for electricity.

“Replacing transformers and electricity related matters is not my responsibility, but I cannot call myself the leader of the communities if I can just sit and do nothing while the communities are without electricity for years,” said Lesufi.

He explained that funds from the City Power of Johannesburg were used buy new transformers and replace the old ones and also fixed substations.