Tempers rise over lack of response

2013-01-09 00:00

AS temperatures rose in the city yesterday, so did tempers, when residents vented their frustration at the lack of information about when their power would be restored.

The Witness took most of the flak. The newsroom phones rang off the hook as residents demanded answers and became more irate when told that the newspaper was also being kept in the dark by the municipality.

Many callers hoped The Witness could tell them when their electricity would be restored, but this was impossible because this information is specific to streets and parts of streets in the city and its suburbs, and is not available from the municipality.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda was unable to tell The Witness which parts of the city had had their power restored because only individual streets or sections were affected.

She described the damage from Sunday’s storm as one of the worst disasters to hit the city. “Being unable to fix electricity for more than two days is a problem. It shows that the storm affected us badly.”

“Since this storm happened, we have had 1 000 calls an hour. It is a problem. We could never have enough call centre agents,” said Madonda.

She said the municipality’s IT server was down, which was why it could not respond in time to queries from residents about when their areas might have power restored.

Denver Furmage, of Scottsville, wrote on Facebook: “They promptly replaced the dangling electric wires and the fallen pole during early hours of Monday morning which we are grateful for but no one has been back since to connect them up. Hutchinson Rd was back up within hours of the storm, very frustrating to see your neighbours with power while you’re in the dark!”

Moggy Deb wrote: “Hilton is without electricity - 2nd day running.”

Terri Buhr, also of Scottsville, was more worried about the lack of communication. “No one answers phones. Are they hiding? Really good crisis management Msunduzi. Mind you — wouldn’t expect anything more. Useless bunch. While I understand there’s chaos everywhere — communication is the key! Answer your bloody phones.”

Hilton’s Johann Kassier wrote: “The quarry and some homes now have power, but most don’t. Bergview Rd and Hilton Gardens are still out since the storm.” — WR.

Tempers rise over lack of

response

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