Centurion protesters hold metro workers hostage

Angry service delivery protesters in Olievenhoutbosch held municipal employees hostage on Tuesday.

The metro team was in the area to restore electricity supply after power outages in parts of Centurion.

The metro said the hostage drama led to delays in power being restored.

Spokesperson Selby Bokaba condemned the acts of criminality and intimidation.

ALSO READ: Man killed in Olievenhoutbosch accident

“Last night, our team of technicians was held hostage by protesters while they were repairing faulty cables at the Noordwes substation in Centurion.”

Bokaba said this resulted in the delay of the repair work that needed to be done in areas such as Erasmia, Laudium, Claudius, Louwlardia and Lyttelton.

“The power outage at Lyttelton left the city’s offices and some sections of the Unitas hospital without power.”

Bokaba said the protesters, who later blockaded the R55 road with burning tyres, also caused damage to the Olievenhoutbosch community centre.

Photos circulating on Facebook showed broken windows and some offices being set alight.

Bokaba said another team of technicians was attending to a cable fault that led to a power failure in Lyttelton Manor.

“Our technicians only managed to restore power to Erasmia, Claudius and Lyttleton this morning. The team is still working on restoring power to Louwlardia and Laudium.”

ALSO READ: NEWSFLASH: Man shot in Olievenhoutbosch shop robbery

Electricity was restored by 08:00 on Wednesday.

Bokaba said the metro would investigate and act decisively against perpetrators.

“We will not be deterred by vandalism or criminality from providing services to our people,” he said.

The metro apologises for the inconvenience caused and undertakes to restore normal services as speedily as possible.”

Olievenhoutbosch police, who are yet to comment, were at the scene of the protest and reportedly fired rubber bullets into the angry crowd.

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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Jason Milford

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