Hilton fear Christmas Day blackout

2012-12-11 00:00

MANY residents of Hilton did not have electricity on Christmas Day last year and they fear that the same thing could happen this year.

Lindy Cook said she moved to Hilton two years ago after leaving Port Elizabeth, but due to frequent power outages and power surges there, she is beginning to regret her move.

She said power went off on Wednesday at 4.20 pm and was only back on Thursday at 9 pm.

“We were without electricity for 29 hours,” she said.

Cook said on Friday it went off again at 10 am and was only restored at 1.30 am. “We have had no power for 54 hours. In five days, for nearly half of that time we have had no power.”

Yesterday power went off at 8.25 am and had not been restored by the afternoon.

Cook said had she kept a diary for the past two years, the results would show that Hilton residents had been without power for weeks.

“We just have had enough of this because we are paying for a service that we are not getting. Who’s going to pay for our electrical appliances if they pack up because of these power surges?” she asked.

She said with the state of infrastructure in Hilton, no business person would invest money there.

Even her family in Port Elizabeth does not want to visit her because when they do come, there is often a problem with outages, she said.

“This year I’m not having Christmas Day in this city.”

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma yesterday said it was common knowledge that the Hilton/Sweetwaters powerline was problematic for reasons they had been mentioning “since time immemorial”.

“It is for that reason that an upgrade of that line is currently underway to permanently arrest the problem,” said Zuma.

He said in the meantime they would do all they could to manage the supply under the circumstances and “all inconveniences are regretted”.

“The Crossways sub-station blew a circuit breaker, which was the reason for the outage. We are expecting power to be restored say by 6 pm.”

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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