Parklane Spar faces R3 mln disaster, but mayor comes to the rescue

2013-11-08 00:00

A FAULTY transformer at the sub-station on Chief Albert Luthuli Street was fixed just in time to avoid a R3 million disaster yesterday.

The sub-station broke down at around 4 pm on Wednesday, leaving several businesses, including the Parklane Spar, without power.

Parklane Spar owner Cameron Mackenzie said it was difficult alerting the municipality to the problem. It was only when the mayor, Chris Ndlela, was informed that people were sent to attend to the outage. Ndlela, along with deputy mayor Thobani Zuma and DA caucus leader Bill Lambert, then went to the sub-station for an update.

“When we first called, the lady [who answered the phone] asked us where Chief Albert Luthuli Street was! We waited for a while, but nothing happened. Eventually I called Bill Lambert, and he alerted the mayor, who said he would send someone around. It is alarming that the only way to get a response is to call the mayor,” said Mackenzie.

He said municipal workers arrived at around 6.30 pm to begin working on the problem. Mackenzie was assured it would be fixed by midnight, but there was still no power yesterday morning.

Having no power is a big concern for the business. Its generators were also supplying power to nearby tenants, and were not strong enough to power the supermarket’s ovens and refrigerators.

“I have R3 million worth of perishable goods. If the power was not fixed, all that would have been thrown away. The power outage affected the robots, making it difficult for customers to access us. We were not the only business affected; all the businesses in the district were,” said Mackenzie.

The municipality contracted Ukukhanya Electrical to fix the sub-station, and it was determined that the transformer was in need of repair. The electricity was back up at 2 pm yesterday afternoon.

Mackenzie was impressed that the mayor had personally visited the site and responded to the problem: “It showed that he didn’t just brush this issue aside; he cared about it.”

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