Maritzburg businesses hit hard by constant power cuts

2017-07-12 17:42
(File, Netwerk24)

(File, Netwerk24)

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Pietermaritzburg - The Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) has warned of dire economic consequences in the area if the Msunduzi municipality does not deal with the problem of power outages.

The warning comes after another outage this week which affected the Northdale suburb, where a number of industries operate.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha confirmed Monday night’s outage, adding that the municipality was working on it.

"There was a fault in the area which had to be located. It was identified at midnight. The area had to be isolated in order to restore power," said Mafumbatha.

Aside from Northdale, parts of the Hilton suburb and Sweetwaters areas were also affected by Monday’s outage.

Over the past weeks, the municipality has battled with power supply in many areas, prompting protests by angry residents.

In a recent press briefing, municipal bosses blamed rogue elements among their staff, saying they were responsible for a string of sabotage activities, including the petrol bombing of an electricity sub-station.

According to PCB CEO Melanie Veness, businesses were counting the costs after repairs to sensitive machinery and equipment that was damaged by the outages.

"We were inundated with calls from affected businesses. The costs to business are significant and mounting continuously," said Veness.

She stressed that, in a difficult economic climate, it was important for businesses to be properly accommodated, as they provided jobs to residents.

Veness said the PCB had sought answers from city hall but had received no response.

"We are in constant contact with the relevant municipal employees and have attempted to keep members updated via the new PCB App. Calls to the mayor and executive managers have unfortunately gone unanswered."

She said the PCB management board would meet on Monday and advise on a strategy over the outages, and the impact to businesses.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  electricity

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