Cable firm sparks businesses’ ire

2014-11-13 00:00

BUSINESSES on Willowton Road are demanding answers after a company installing cable for cellphone companies struck a water pipe yesterday.

Link Africa, from Durban, recently began installing optic fibre for the Vodacom and MTN networks.

Yesterday construction workers hit a pipe and clean water gushed down the road. Willowton Road businesses said the pipe burst placed their operations in danger.

Pressure Die Casting technical director Lance Deysel said they have four pipes supplying their factory and another burst would force them to shut down the company.

“This is a highly irregular practice. They should have liaised with surrounding companies to check if there are any pipes that might put us at risk. I’m angry because this will affect our production,” he said.

“Who gave them authority to work here? They just pitched up and dug up the road without issuing notices. Water is absolutely critical in our factory.”

Link Africa construction supervisor Ahmod Padayachee conceded they had not issued notices to surrounding companies. He said the “Pietermaritzburg road departments” had given them the authority for the installation.

Asked to clarify which departments these were, he said the Transport Department and municipal departments.

However, Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said Link Africa had not consulted the municipality over the project.

“It is concerning that companies come to the city and work without consulting us,” she said, adding that other cities like Pretoria were experiencing similar problems.

Padayachee conceded his workers had been negligent in striking the pipe, and added: “Wherever we do these projects, people complain, but we are making their lives easier as they will have access to free high-speed Internet.”

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