Lights are finally shining again in Northdale

2015-01-08 00:00

CALM has been restored in Northdale following near riots over electricity blackouts that lasted for days.

Councillor Nithia Govender said the power was restored on Tuesday and there had not been any further outages.

Irate residents inundated their ward councillors with angry phonecalls following the lengthy outage caused by a storm on Saturday. The power was intermittently restored in the subsequent days.

On Monday, angry residents surrounded Msunduzi Municipality electricians and made them work at the site of the problem until electricity was restored.

They followed the electricians around until midnight to make sure they restored the power.

A resident, who declined to be named, said yesterday that although the electricity had been restored, they were worried that they could suffer another outage. “They restored the power, but this is an ongoing problem. I have been [living] here for the past 11 years and each year the situation gets worse.”

She said the ongoing problems had forced her to close her business. “I had an icecream shop which I had to close down because I was losing a lot of stock.”

She said the council had not seen it fit to apologise to residents for the latest round of blackouts.

“The council has not apologised. Who is going to fix our appliances [damaged in power surges] and reimburse us for our losses?”

She said they had endured days without power without any explanation, but the municipality was ruthless when it collected its electricity bill. “I pay R3 000 a month and if I miss the payment date by just one day, they are here at my front door to cut off my lights.”

Ward councillor Rooksana Ahmed said the electricity had been restored in her ward, and with it calm had returned. “The calls I get now are about the equipment that has been damaged and who will pay for it.”

She said the latest power problems had resulted from a severe storm and that the municipality had previously refused claims for damaged equipment even when it was proved that power surges had been its fault.

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