Telkom slow to replace stolen lines to Bishopstowe

2010-09-28 00:00

TELKOM stands accused of failing its customers with its shoddy service.

Bishopstowe residents have again been without phones for the past month after their phone lines were vandalised by copper thieves.

Other subscribers have been waiting since March for the company to install phone lines.

For the past six years, the phone lines to Bishopstowe have been vandalised by criminals who remove the copper wires inside, and the residents say the situation is getting worse.

One of the subscribers, Syd Harling, said if there had been an alternative to Telkom, he would take it.

In a photograph that Harling took of the damage, fallen telephone poles are shown with the cables left hanging.

“For the past six years we have been experiencing phone line problems, and the situation is getting worse,” said Harling.

“In June we experienced a similar situation where we were without phone lines for four weeks. They fixed that and now the problem has started up again and we have been without phones for a month.”

He said that although subscribers in Bishopstowe understand the problems of copper theft, what irks them is the company’s refusal to address the problem.

“The line travels through a vulnerable area, but they refuse to move it or to bury it as they say they have no money.”

Harling said the situation has become a security concern.

“In a farming community security is always at the forefront and we cannot even phone the local police should we need them.

“Neither their phones nor most of those in the community are working,” Harling added.

Another resident in Bishopstowe she said she has been waiting for a phone line to be installed since March.

She said that after several promises to install her phone line were not kept, she asked the company what was happening.

“I queried it a few times, and was told that I had applied for Prestbury, which is rubbish; I live in the Bishopstowe area.”

The Witness was unable to get clarification from Telkom as repeated phone calls to the company and e-mails went unanswered.

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