Power finally restored to candle-lit library

2013-03-06 00:00

THE Ashburton Library was without power for four weeks because the Msunduzi Municipality failed to pay its Eskom electricity account.

This curtailed all photocopying, Internet connectivity, lights and air-conditioning.

On overcast days, patrons searched for books using candles and torches. On hot days, users stayed away because the library was like an oven.

A patron said the irony was that the air-conditioning had just been fixed after being out of order for five years. Just when it started working, the bill was not paid.

Ward councillor Sandy Lyne said she was alerted to the problem four weeks ago.

She spoke to the municipal staff at the Area-Based-Management office in the complex and the librarian, and had been assured that the problem was being dealt with.

“I continued to get calls and e-mails from residents regarding both the lack of electricity and the fact that the grass around the library and the hall had not been cut for four months. A number of residents assumed that the building had been abandoned,” Lyne said.

She added that she was in daily contact with the library and management office, and each time was assured that the power would be reconnected within a few days.

The ward councillor said she could not understand the lack of urgency on the part of the managers and officials to get the electricity reconnected.

She commended the library staff for continuing to work under such trying conditions in the heat and dark.

She also commended Eskom for disconnecting on non-payment, adding that perhaps Msunduzi Municipality should follow its example with government departments that do not pay for their electricity.

Msunduzi spokesperson Brian Zuma said there was a delay in the processing of payment to Eskom.

“In the same way that we cut people when they have not paid on time, we were also cut off.”

The power was finally re-connected yesterday.

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