Israeli mayor threatens energy minister over power outages in Yavne

The mayor of Yavne wrote a letter to Israel Katz, demanding a resolution to the power outages that Yavne has been dealing with for years.

 View of the city of Yavne, in central Israel, on August 10, 2022.  (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
View of the city of Yavne, in central Israel, on August 10, 2022.
(photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

The mayor of Yavne, Roei Gabay, appealed to the Energy and Infrastructure Minister Israel Katz to demand the establishment of an "in-depth and immediate" inspection committee in light of the many malfunctions and power outages in the city of Yavne in recent years and claimed the ongoing problems have disrupted the lives of the residents.

According to data collected by the municipality and transferred to the electric company, the residents of the city suffered property damage amounting to millions of shekels. 

"There is a serious fear of injury to the body and soul…the power outages put residents who have ventilators and life-saving drugs in danger," the mayor warned.

The letter was also directed to the CEO of the Electricity Authority, Amir Shavit, and the CEO of the Electric Company, Meir Spiegler and was highly critical of both CEOs.

Many requests to the electric company, both from the mayor and the previous mayor, Zvi Gov, did not improve the situation. A meeting on June 30 with the CEO of the Electric Company, Meir Spiegler and the director of the southern district, Shirley Shariki, was also unsuccessful in finding a solution.

At the meeting, the Electric Company promised it would immediately replace power lines and improve the infrastructure. However, since the meeting, which took place about two months ago, there have been over 20 incidents of power outages in Yavne.

In his letter, the mayor demanded that the Energy and Infrastructure Minister get to the bottom of the matter and appoint an urgent inspection committee for the issue. 

"In the winter, we received answers that winds and the weather that have changed on a global level are the source of the malfunctions and that replacing the power lines immediately will lead to an improvement. Now we come to know, that even in the summer, there are multiple power outages and the city of Yavne does not receive regular and reasonable electricity supply and service. The number of power outages shows that as if nothing was done." 

 View of the city of Yavne, in central Israel, on August 10, 2022. (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
View of the city of Yavne, in central Israel, on August 10, 2022. (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

Yavne residents repeatedly left without power

The letter detailed a long list of power outages recorded only in the last two months, which were preceded by dozens of outages over the past few years, without warning and for no apparent reason. 

The mayor pointed out that the city's residents and municipal institutions suffered extremely heavy financial damages as a result of damage to electrical appliances and equipment. 

The municipality has in its possession a detailed list of hundreds of reports from residents, including correspondence with the service centers. None of the residents received assistance in response to their reports.

"I will not agree because what was will be, the residents of Yavne are entitled to a regular electricity supply from an electricity company. Since the meeting with the CEO two months ago, we have suffered over 20 outages. In the absence of a basic service, a city cannot run when a basic service is not provided to it,” the mayor said.

“The residents of the city suffer damages and there is a fear of physical and mental injuries as a result of these multiple power outages, most of which are without prior notice. We have received many inquiries from residents who have ventilators or who need life-saving medication. Every power outage, especially without prior warning, causes life-threatening danger."

"We demand an in-depth and immediate inspection committee and immediate actions to prevent the recurrence of power outages. We demand that preparations for the winter be carried out, including pruning of branches and alerts to private homeowners immediately, we demand that you detail the status of execution and replacement of all clamps/connections/power lines deployed in the city,” he continued. 

“As long as I do not receive satisfactory answers and quick actions to solve the problem immediately, the municipality will act with all the means available to it according to the law, including legal procedures."