Weekend without TV: was it Eskom?

2008-01-28 00:00

JUST about every South African has a “power cut” story to tell, and being without TV for the whole weekend has proved to be the final straw for one Howick resident. However, it appears that not all blackouts are Eskom’s fault.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was told there was a cable problem in the transmitter located at Merrivale, which feeds TV transmissions to Howick households.

She said she was sent on a wild goose chase trying to get someone to take responsibility.

“Firstly, I’m told I can’t deal with Eskom because I’m not the account holder, Sentech is. Then they tell me no faults were reported to them and the problem was with Sentech. And when you call Sentech, they tell you Eskom is at fault and it goes on and on … ”

The woman said she even tried to contact the SABC, but received no help there either.

Eventually, an Eskom supervisor told her Eskom and Sentech had jointly investigated the problem and found that it lay with a Sentech cable. She said that Eskom was 100% sure that they were not to blame.

Sentech is a telecommunications company providing signals to large services like the SABC.

However, a Sentech operator told The Witness a different story.

She said the matter was reported by the Durban branch and lodged into their system that same Friday.

She said she was sitting in Johannesburg, dealing with technicians by phone, who told her the problem was power related and that Eskom was working on it.

But all the Howick resident was interested in getting were results.

“Clearly someone is not telling the truth … I’m really worried about all the old people … in Howick, who have nothing much to do other than watch TV. And think about all the mischief the young people can get up to …”

Technicians from both camps are said to be meeting again today, to establish accountability.

sphumem@witness.co.za

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