Napierville hit by blackouts and dry taps

2016-03-16 10:31
Picture: Lucky Nxumalo

Picture: Lucky Nxumalo

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Pietermaritzburg - Napierville residents are at their wits end due to continuous blackouts and reduced water pressure.

Residents said they have been experiencing the problem for over a month and have received “no help or direction” from the municipality.

“The electricity cuts off when we least expect it and we never get any prior notice. The water comes out of the taps in a trickle and we cannot do anything with that little bit of water,’ said a resident.

The Napierville residents asked not to be named in the newspaper in fear of further victimisation.

“As it is, we feel as if the municipality is targeting us by cutting off the electricity and water and not prioritising our problems,’ said another resident.

A resident who was diagnosed with cancer recently said it is particularly difficult to live in an area where there are such serious municipal problems.

The patient, who is receiving treatment, said he is continuously tired and looks forward to “a good shower” and a hot meal after treatment.

“I get home after a long day of treatment and find that either there is no electricity or there is no water. It is very frustrating and we just cannot take it anymore,” he said.

Another Napierville resident and business owner said: “The water pressure is low and the water is milky. We have to wake up extra early and run a bath. It is just ghastly.”

According to the residents, they have called the municipality “on numerous occasions” and were always given the same response — that there were “technical difficulties”.

“The municipality’s response is not acceptable. People need to come out to the area and see for themselves how we live. It seems like they don’t care about the Napierville residents,” added one home owner.

However, city spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said that was not the case and the problems in the area stem from a range of recent issues.

“Firstly there is a lot of old infrastructure in the area and the pipes tend to burst often which affects the water pressure. We are continuously looking for funding and we are waiting for that to become available,” said Madonda.

She said there was a high voltage fault in the area which resulted in the power outages. Madonda said the municipality had taken care of that fault. However, during construction in a nearby area some cables were damaged.

“A car also knocked into one of the street poles which added to the electricity woes in the area. We appeal to motorists and residents to be careful of the infrastructure when they are driving or if there is construction in their property,” said Madonda.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  electricity  |  water

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