Protesters use rotten meat

2012-12-18 00:00

FRUSTRATED kwaMpumuza residents dumped rotten meat at the Pietemaritzburg electricity department’s main entrance in Havelock Road yesterday afternoon.

The protesters scattered fly-infested fish, braai packs, chicken feet and red meat all over the entrance.

The residents have had no electricty since Saturday and said the power outage had spoiled their Christmas food.

Mdu Zuma told The Witness that meat worth about R2 200 was getting spoiled in his fridge.

“This period is a busy season for us because we take part in stokvels and it was on that Saturday when the power went off that my stokvel distributed meat.”

Zuma, who also owns a tuck shop, said his stock was worth lots of money and would also go to waste.

“We’re battling with electricity in our area. Every time there’s a slight wind or lightning, it goes off and when we report it to the municipality, they take their time to fix it.”

Zuma said that seven years ago, residents locked municipal staff in their office until their electricity problems were addressed.

“The municipality only listens to us once we’ve taken drastic measures,” he added.

Bongani Shange said he had not had his anti-retroviral drugs since Saturday because he has not had a decent meal.

“I can’t take pills on an empty stomach or bread alone. It’s not good for me,” he lamented.

Yesterday the residents were planning to camp at the electricity offices until their power supply was restrored.

The Dunveria area in Northdale has also been without power since Saturday.

“When you call the call centre, they keep on telling you that they’re working on it, but they haven’t done anything,” said one resident, adding that she was living on sandwiches and water.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the power outages were due to the severe storm that struck the city at the weekend.

Hilton, Sweetwaters and Bishopstowe were also without electricity.

“The power line and trees went down and some sub-stations caught fire because of the storm, but at least there was no loss of life.”

Madonda said the power outages could not be avoided and pointed out that the storm had caused more damage in other areas.

She said throwing meat at the the offices was not a solution, and that the residents needed to follow the proper channels and file insurance claims for damages.

By the time of going to press, she said the electricians had located the fault and were working on it.

• In Copesville, power went off yesterday due to faulty cables and the sub-station blew up, reportedly because of overloading caused by illegal connections.

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