Business irate over costly power cuts

2012-01-25 00:00

IRATE business people in parts of Mountain Rise and Eastwood are fed up with the Msunduzi Municipality following power outages that they claimed have cost them millions of rands.

These areas were without electricity from Sunday until yesterday, when power was restored at noon.

There have been claims that the outages could force the businesses to close down.

Ahmed Khan, a technical manager at Sealake Industries in the Willowton industrial area, said: “We are tired of this and we are now considering moving our business elsewhere because, every time there is no electricity for a day, we lose a million rand.”

Khan said the municipality would lose millions if the business did move and unemployment in the city would increase.

He said their staff lose out on their salaries because of production time lost.

“The lack of proper communication from the municipality does not help when there is a fault,” he said.

CEO of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, Melanie Veness, said: “We are outraged at the length of time that it took to repair the fault.”

She said businesses in the city should at least be able to rely on the municipality for the provision of basic services, otherwise they might not be able to stay in business, let alone compete with competitors based in other cities.

“When I consider how often these particular businesses have been hit with lengthy outages, it does not surprise me at all that some are considering relocating,” said Veness.

She said the municipality should allocate every available resource to ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum.

“There needs to be a far greater sense of urgency and of accountability when outages occur,” she said.

Attempts to get comment from the Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

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