Power poles cut down in Northdale

2012-07-13 00:00

SOME parts of Northdale were left in the dark last night when electricity poles were toppled.

Residents of the Nhlalakahle informal settlement had earlier threatened to do just that in a bid to dramatise their plea for electricity (see story on page 3).

Northdale residents were furious when The Witness visited the area last night after their electricity and water had been cut off.

Mahen Ramharak said: “We have been without electricity since 7.30, but we were thinking that municipality is working on the electricity or maybe some fault occurred.

“To my surprise when I walked out there was a group of people cutting the pole.”

Street poles in Turnstone and Swallow roads were cut, with live cables on the ground. In other roads it was also dark.

Residents said they had called the municipality to halt the vandalism, but no officials came.

Police were at the scene, but could not chase the group that had allegedly cut the poles as it was too dark.

The informal residents’ protests follow a swoop on Wednesday in which their illegal connections were removed.

On Wednesday evening residents of Nhlalakahle barricaded Bombay Road with burning tyres and stoned vehicles.

Said and angry resident who did not want to be named: “We are paying for our services and they should also pay.

“Why are they disturbing our peace because they were disconnected by the municipality for their wrongdoing?”

Water was also not flowing in some houses, and there was evidence of damage to water pipes.

Some residents called for the removal of the settlement.

“Our municipality is not fair. They should have removed them ages ago.

“We would have not come to this,” said one.

Some residents were scared to come out of their houses and could be heard calling to their neighbours, asking what was happening.

A police van was patrolling in the area, but there were no municipal workers to be seen.

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma is on leave and his stand-in was not available to comment last night.

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