Hilton mulls class action

2011-05-06 00:00

A POWER outage last night, the 12th in 10 days, was the last straw for Hilton and Sweetwaters residents, who say the situation is getting beyond a joke.

Some of them are calling for a class action suit to be brought against Msunduzi Municipality.

Several residents indicated last night that they have been exploring taking legal action as way of teaching the municipality a lesson.

Many others said they believe they need to be compensated for the financial loss they suffered as a result of the outages.

Businesses have also indicated that if the situation persists it will no longer be viable for them to operate in the village.

What angers residents especially is that they were unable to get through to the municipality to report the problem or to get an explanation of what was going on.

Also frustrating was that in the latest blackout only some houses in a street or complex had electricity.

Msunduzi Mayor Mike Tarr, a Hilton resident, was himself a victim of the outages.

He said last night that he found out that one of the power lines to Hilton was out and that while two-thirds of the residents had electricity, the others didn’t.

He warned that all lines were to be switched off later last night to repair the fault and that hopefully power would be restored by one or two in the morning.

Earlier municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said the reason no one could get through on the emergency night line was the the municipality’s phone system does not have the capacity to deal with a large volume of calls.

He said a new system has been installed to deal with emergency calls about infrastructural problems. He said staff are being trained to give callers detailed information when problems arise.

He was reluctant to state when the new system will become operative, saying the municipality hopes it will be in two weeks’ time.

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