Businesses seek action after surge

2014-06-13 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG businesses laid lame by a power surge estimated at 400 volts on Tuesday evening were mulling their options, including compensation claims against the Msunduzi Municipality, the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) said yesterday.

The surge caused damage estimated at thousands of rands to businesses fronting Boshoff Street between Pietermaritz and Boom streets, the PCB said in an online statement.

Many households and businesses in Durban have recently reported damage to their goods because cable theft had caused intermittant power surges that over-loads electronic household equipment.

In Pietermaritzburg, there was speculation that the theft of a transformer had caused the power surge.

“At this early stage of investigation, it would appear Tiger Wheel and Tyre (TWT) and Poobie Naidoo’s Sports were most affected,” said PCB editor Derek Alberts.

TWT’s initial estimates of the cost of the damage was about R40 000.

“Most of our electronic and electrical equipment was literally fried,” said TWT proprietor Greg Barnes.

A similar scenario is evident across the road at Poobie where the city’s fire service was summoned after smoke was seen pouring from damaged equipment.

Barnes said no reasons were furnished for the surge, and that an official response from the city’s electrical department was still being awaited.

“We’ve approached the municipality without avail, but hope the intercession by the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business will help speed up the investigation,” he said.

Barnes alleged that unconfirmed reports suggested that the municipality was aware of the problem on Monday and that if that proved to be true, the matter assumes a different dimension all together.

• Deliberate power cuts took place countrywide on Wednesday night after two Eskom units at Duvha and Kendal power stations tripped and a portion of the capacity usually imported from Cahora Bassa became unavailable. Eskom warned yesterday that it may need to begin load shedding again.

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