Festive lights to be turned off soon

2008-01-31 00:00

The festive lights still burning around Pietermaritzburg will finally be switched off this weekend, weeks after the end of the Christmas season, after residents have asked questions about the municipality’s wastefulness in the face of the electricity crisis.

Acting electricity process manager Maxwell Mthembu said the lights were scheduled to be left on until January 15.

“The lights should be switched off and taken down during this weekend. Others have been removed around the city but they should all be off by this weekend,” he assured The Witness.

Mthembu said the lights don’t use that much electricity.

But a concerned resident said: “After all the fuss the municipality makes about saving electricity in the midst of the load shedding, it is very interesting that they would allow the Christmas lights to be on in January”.

In related news, an explanation has finally emerged as to why the floodlights at the Oval cricket ground were left on all night on Sunday.

It was not done by the cricket authorities. Yunus Bhamjee, president of the Maritzburg Cricket Association, said there were no official matches scheduled for Sunday evening.

However, municipal Parks, Sport and Recreation manager Steven Naick said the lights were left on “as there were people from the fire department pumping out water due to flooding from the bicycle track on the grounds. They worked throughout the night so the lights had to be turned on.”

The department controls the lights at all stadiums run by the municipality, and department staff have access to the facilities and light switches.

Naick said clubs booking the ground must specify when they need the lights.

“The municipality will then ensure that the lights are turned on and off at the correct times,” he said.

However, he said his department had nothing to do with floodlights at the sports ground in Ridge Road that worried a Witness reader yesterday morning.

Naick said the ground is not under the jurisdiction of the municipality.

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