Construction firm in the soup over severed power line

2015-06-18 09:17
Power lines.

Power lines. (File)

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CASCADES businesses were left with customers with wet hair, partially completed facials and miffed attitudes after a main power line was severed by construction workers leading to a 24-hour blackout.

The power cut occurred this weekend during prime Saturday trading hours when construction company ­Rubro Building cut the area’s power supply while working on the construction site next to the Cascades Virgin Active gym.

And now it has led to both the city and Rubro blaming each other with Msunduzi saying the contractors should pay for damages and Rubro refusing.

Rubro project manager and part-owner Gerhard Roux said the company would not be paying for the damages to the cables as the plans they had been provided with did not show any power cable in the vicinity of the construction area.

He said that the damage had not been done by Rubro itself but a company that had sub-contracted to work for them.

“There was nothing in the plans showing a cable in our work area. The cable was shown outside our working boundary and not inside our area.

“How must we know the main cable was in our construction area when it didn’t show on our map?”

Roux said the same cable had been hit about a year ago and the municipality had agreed to move the cable but had not.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said Rubro would have to pay for the damages done to the power cable.

“The company working in the area is known to the municipality and will have to pay for the damages.

“Msunduzi electricity has a section which deals with the city drawings, and companies are encouraged to request a copy of the drawings prior to working to prevent damaging our cable,” she said.

Cascades Hair Boutique manager Candice Downing said they had opened the shop at 8 am on Saturday morning only to have the power go out an hour later.

“Power went out at 9 am and all we could do was give our customers a free hair wash and send them on their way. We had quite a few appointments for that day but there was nothing we could do.”

Natural Therapy Clinic and Health Shop on Townbush Road was also affected by the power outage and beauty therapist Nicki Arkell said she was in the middle of a facial on a customer when the electricity went out.

“I was only able to do half a facial. Our card machines weren’t working, we had to cancel appointments because the equipment I use needs electricity to work and things were not working.

“I was very annoyed,” she said

Read more on:    electicity

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