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Eskom suspends operations in other parts of Cape Town following attacks

Emissions rise from the cooling towers of the Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. Matla coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga, South Africa, on Monday, Dec. 23, 2019. The level of sulfur dioxide emissions in the Kriel area in Mpumalanga province only lags the Norilsk Nickel metal complex in the Russian town of Norilsk, the environmental group Greenpeace said in a statement, citing 2018 data from NASA satellites. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Eskom announced it has now suspended operations in other parts of Cape Town following continued attacks on its employees.

Affected areas, where the utility has pulled out of operations, include Bloekombos, Wallacedene, Kraaifontein CBD and Wesbank in Delft, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Monday, the utility was forced to suspend operations in parts of Khayelitsha and Bardale (Mfuleni) due to protests which resulted in one of its vehicles being stoned and set alight.

Eskom added that in Kraaifontein staffers managed to escape unharmed after protesters pelted their branded vehicle with rocks.

“The ongoing protest action across Cape Town is posing a significant threat to the safety of field operators working in these communities.

Safety

“The safety of employees is Eskom’s top priority and, only when these areas are declared safe, will operations resume,” Eskom spokesperson Trish Da Silva said in a statement.

The utility said it was working closely with police and its security services to ensure their staff were safe while working in the areas affected by protests.

It added that it was also engaging with community leaders to find solutions to the situation.

News24 reported on Tuesday that the City of Cape Town also announced it had suspended certain key services, such as refuse collection, “due to the extreme volatility” in various areas.

At least 11 people, including two minors, were also arrested on Tuesday evening following a break-in at a liquor store on Delft Main Road. The group allegedly looted alcohol from the store, according to police.

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