Msunduzi now denies involvement in damage to Telkom cables

2015-03-03 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality has denied involvement in the damage to Telkom cables on Langalibalele Street, after admitting liability last month.

The municipality has now said that it would like to “distance itself [from] the article that was published [in] the Natal Witness … where serious claims were made about the damaged Telkom cables … allegedly by Msunduzi contractors installing solar street lights”.

According to municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha, the excavation work for the light bases and cables was completed around October 2014, and there had not been any further excavations by their contractors. “At no stage was there any damage to any of the underground infrastructure, especially Telkom,” Mafumbatha said.

This is in spite of Mafumbatha herself previously saying that the damage to the Telkom line was an “honest mistake” by the municipality.

She had apologised in an article published in The Witness on February 11 which highlighted the four-day plight of business owners and managers whose phone lines were dead due to damaged Telkom lines.

“It was an honest mistake and the technicians did not see the lines. We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” she said then.

Now, Mafumbatha alleges that a contractor that had been working along the same route with their recently installed cables and bases was in fact contracted to Telkom. “Therefore, the claims as they are brought forward alleging damages by the municipal contractor installing the solar street lights to the Telkom cables are disputed with facts, unless it can be proven otherwise,” she said. “We have consulted the pertinent site records and they confirm that all concrete bases for the solar street lights were completed on October 13, 2014,” while the Telkom line disruptions started on February 5,” she added.

Telkom spokesperson Pynee Chetty could not be reached for comment.

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