Johannesburg Mayor, Kabelo Gwamanda, expressed on Monday the city’s inability to restore water and electricity services to the Central Business District (CBD) area, citing the lack of approval from relevant authorities.
The CBD has been plunged into darkness and waterless conditions ever since the devastating gas explosion occurred on Lillian Ngoyi Street last week, tragically claiming one life and leaving 48 others injured.
In an effort to assess the extent of the damage inflicted by the explosion, Mayor Gwamanda, accompanied by Johannesburg City Manager Floyd Brink and city officials, embarked on an oversight visit to the affected area.
Preliminary reports have indicated that the explosion was caused by a gas-related incident, making it imperative to ensure the complete clearance of any potential gas leaks before reconnecting power to the vicinity.
Mayor Gwamanda emphasized the importance of securing the go-ahead from the appropriate authorities before proceeding with the restoration efforts to safeguard the well-being of residents and workers in the CBD.
“These cut-offs are necessary because we have not reached a level where zero percentage of gas exists and until experts declare the area safe, we are unable to connect power.”
“Although it bothers their service delivery and human rights, we need to ensure that we prioritise their safety first” Mayor Gwamanda emphasized.
“I also urge the public to steer clear of the cordoned area, their safety is of paramount importance, and we are here to ensure that we finalise the processes in the shortest space of time as possible,” added Gwamanda.
The explosion’s cause and its impact are being thoroughly investigated to determine any potential liabilities or negligence.
Meanwhile, city officials are urging citizens to remain patient as they work diligently to secure the area and restore essential services.