Surges cause damage

2019-10-30 06:00
Linah Morake points to the breaker box which exploded in her kitchen.

Linah Morake points to the breaker box which exploded in her kitchen.

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Scores of residents of Freedom Square in Bloemfontein who were affected after a transformer exploded, are counting the cost of damages as they pick up the pieces.

The transformer explosion reportedly occurred at midnight on Sunday (27/10) and left a trail of damages.

Damaged home appliances range from freezers and refrigerators to stoves and microwave ovens, while damaged electronic devices include radios, televisions, DVD players and music systems.

Residents lost their electrical appliances and devices due to voltage surges when the power was being restored at midnight on Sunday. The power was fully restored on Monday (28/10).

Most of the residents said they thought loadshedding was the reason for electricity not being available from 09:30 on Sunday until midnight.

“We later realised that it was not loadshedding when we noticed a group of Centlec workers with two branded vehicles busy at a transformer.

“At the time of going to bed at night they were still busy at the transformer,” said Xoliswa Sohoma.

Linah Morake (67) regards herself as extremely lucky after making an escape from her kitchen, which was partly burnt in the incident.

“The fire started in the kitchen when the breaker box exploded due to voltage surges when the power was being restored.

“The whole house was filled with smoke. I took my seven-month-old grandchild from the bedroom. I heard people screaming in my yard that my house was on fire.

“They helped to put out the flames before it could cause extensive damage to the house,” said Morake, who survives on state pension.

All Morake’s appliances and electronic devices are da­maged beyond repair.

“I am very grateful to my neighbours who acted quickly to help extinguish the flames,” said Morake.

Chabeli Rampai, councillor of Ward 7, under whom the affected area of Freedom Square falls, was inunda­ted with calls from residents reporting damaged appliances due to the voltage surges.

According to Rampai, 23 residents had already reported cases directly to him by Tuesday (29/10), adding that the number could increase given that investigation was underway to identify the affected households.

“A detailed report on what could have been a problem will be released once the investigation has been concluded,” said Lele Mamatu, Centlec spokesperson.

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