Still not paid for damage

2016-01-12 10:02
Mduduzi Zungu holds up his only source of income, his computer, which was damaged during a power surge in 2014. Zungu is still awaiting payment from the municipality after more than a year.

Mduduzi Zungu holds up his only source of income, his computer, which was damaged during a power surge in 2014. Zungu is still awaiting payment from the municipality after more than a year. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - More than a year after a power surge destroyed all their electrical appliances, a Pietermaritzburg couple are waiting for the Msunduzi Municipality to process their claim.

With their computer, their only source of income, blown up, they have resorted to applying for a grant to support their children.

Mduduzi Zungu, from the Buffer area near Grange, said the power surge blew up all their electrical appliances during December in 2014. After an intense investigation by the municipality, they were told that the fault lay with the municipality and they had grounds to make a claim for the goods lost.

“I remember we were sitting in the lounge when we noticed the lights started to dim. All of a sudden we heard globes burst and realised something was wrong. We all ran out of the house, only to find our neighbours had experienced the same problems,” said Zungu.

He said they returned to their homes turned off the main electricity switch, but “everything was shocking us” as if electric current was still flowing through the house.

Zungu and his wife are invitation designers and depend heavily on their home computer to design cards and communicate with their clients.

“That was our only source of income and that exploded. Now we have to travel to town and use the Internet cafes. However, it is very expensive to be travelling daily.”

Zungu said he was forced to apply for child welfare to ensure his two daughters went to school.

“We also rely on people from the church to give us food because our fridge and other kitchen appliances exploded. It is so difficult to live like this,” said a tearful Zungu.

Numerous calls, visits and e-mails to the municipality had been ignored, he said, claiming that he was once told it would take years before they would be paid.

“I was initially told it would take three months, but when I last visited the municipality, someone told me it could take years. We don’t have years and need at least our computer to be replaced,” he said.

Zungu said he had claimed for appliances valued at a total of R10 000 as his freezer, fridge, computer and DVD player were all destroyed in the power surge.

“We didn’t claim for all the other goods that were damaged because we were afraid that the municipality would not pay us if the amount was too high. We are very disappointed with the municipality because we were told it would take three months, but we have been kept running back and forth. Our last hope is to tell our story in the media,” he said.

Acting Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said she would investigate with the relevant departments to find out why the payment to the Zungu family was not made.

Madonda said a detailed response from the relevant departments would be sent to The Witness today.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  damage

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