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N1 freeway reopens after Soweto residents blocked it over electricity

N1 freeway reopens after Soweto residents blocked it over electricity

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) on Monday morning said the N1 freeway around Soweto has been reopened to traffic after a service delivery protest by residents spilt into the busy road.

“The N1 freeway in Soweto has been reopened for traffic to flow, and this is following an earlier protest when the freeway was closed off with burning tyres between Soweto Highway and Rand Show Road in Diepkloof, Soweto,” said JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla.

He said the road had been closed by residents of Diepkloof zone 3 with grievances over electricity.

“They have been protesting for being without electricity. The protesting crowd has now been dispersed and officers are on the scene,” said Fihla.

“Traffic is still heavy on the N1 and we appeal to motorists to be patient at this moment as officers clear the debris on the roadway.”

On Saturday, Eskom announced that stage 2 load shedding would be implemented from 9pm until 5am on Monday morning.

The power utility warned that if there was “further deterioration in the power system”, load shedding may be required to be implemented earlier, on Saturday afternoon.

Eskom said the load shedding was due to a failure of a generation unit each at Kusile, Medupi and Arnot power stations, as well as a delay of a unit returning to service at Tutuka power station.

There was a reported failure of the coal conveyors at Medupi which led to reduced output at the station. Eskom said that this has been rectified but would “take some time to recover the full operations”.


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