Powerless to addicts

2015-06-23 06:00

Vandalism of an electricity supply box was the cause of four households having to cope without electricity for eight days.

Tanya Meyer’s home is one of the four that was left in the dark. She says the hassle to get someone to fix the box was frustrating.

“We noticed that the electricity was off when I left for work on Wednesday 10 June. However, when I got home that night the electricity was still off,” Meyer says.

The Galilee Walk residents who were affected by the outage suspect drug addicts were the cause of their misery.

“We cannot pinpoint who it was but we are certain it was tik koppe. They stole all the wires out of the box and left it as an empty shell,” Meyer says.

According to another resident, Moegamat Gabriels, when he realised that the electric box was stripped of all its cables, he logged a C3 notification at the local rent office in Hanover Park.

“I went there early morning on Thursday 11 June and explained to them what had occurred during the night. They took the complaint and said they would deal with it,” Gabriels says.

Following up on the complaint was resident David Smith who was also left without electricity at his home.

“After the complaint was received at the rent office, I took it upon myself to follow up on the progress of it. That same day the complaint was logged I saw seven City of Cape Town vehicles just looking at the box but not doing anything,” he says.

Meyer says having to go eight days without electricity was a struggle.

“We had to do everything by candle light and storing food was another issue. We had to ask our neighbours to keep our food with them,” she says.

Asking this favour brought along financial implications as well. “When we asked our neighbours to keep our food stuff with them for a few days, they would charge us per day. Easily per day we had to pay R20 or R30 for our food to be kept there,” she adds.

Gabriels says he stored his food and groceries with his mother who lives opposite him. “I still had to pay her as well. But one can understand, nothing in life is free,” he adds.

According to the families this was not the only expense they had to deal with.

Meyer says her daughter was terrified to leave her home because of the dark street.

“She was scared because everything was done in the dark or she wouldn’t want to go outside alone. My daughter would not leave the house because she was scared of gangsters who would prey in those kind of conditions. We were being held hostage in our homes,” Meyer says.

The City of Cape Town only fixed the faulty box a week after the complaint was logged, on Wednesday 17 June.

The City did not comment by the time of going to print.V

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