‘Don’t live in Hilton if you want power’

2010-04-24 00:00

DO not live in Hilton if you want to have an uninterrupted supply of electricity.

That was a response a Hilton resident allegedly received from the Msunduzi Municipality electricity department when she called to inquire about yet another electricity outage yesterday.

The area has been without power for hours at a time — on one occasion for 26 hours — almost every day since last Saturday. Sunday was the only day with no interruption.

Yesterday the newsroom was again inundated with calls from irate residents who wondered why there has been another lengthy power failure — from midday until after 6 pm.

The residents say they have had enough of the municipality’s incompetence.

“Not a day has gone by without this area suffering an electricity outage,” said an angry resident.

She said that when she called the municipality, the man who answered the phone told her: “Hilton is not the right place to live in.”

Another resident threatened a riot, saying the constant power outages are “nonsense”.

Most callers blamed the outages on incompetence and the lack of proper maintenance of the infrastructure.

The process manager for electricity, Maxwell Mthembu, said the problems will be solved only when the department gets enough funding to fix parts of the sub-station that feeds electricity to Hilton.

The cause of yesterday’s power cut was given as a blown surge arrester.

Mthembu said the department needs three circuit breakers, which cost R350 000 each, and R1,2 million to fix one of the lines that feeds electricity to Hilton.

Mayor Mike Tarr, who visited the sub-station where municipal workers were fixing yesterday’s fault, said Hilton residents must accept that there is a genuine problem with their electricity supply.

“The department is doing its best. We are looking for additional funding to fix the problem,” said Tarr.

It will take just over a month to fix the fault completely once funding is approved, said Mthembu.

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