City substations in a mess

2017-07-24 13:45
A vagrant lights a fire near the new substation on the corner of Victoria and Peter Kerchhof streets.

A vagrant lights a fire near the new substation on the corner of Victoria and Peter Kerchhof streets. (Ian Wilson)

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The destruction of municipal property has become a serious issue for communities who are left to suffer the consequences.

With the rise in illegal connections, then the recent municipal strike where it was believed workers were purposely switching off transformers, to now vagrants making substations their home — there seems to be no break for the already failing electricity infrastructure in Msunduzi.

We have all experienced the affects of the damaged and ailing electricity infrastructure and more often than not, the municipality is the first one we blame.

But for residents and passers-by near the Victoria and Peter Kerchhof streets substation, vagrants are the clear reason behind the destruction of a fairly new building that is housing the substation.

Ian Wilson said the vagrants are constantly lighting fires against the walls, leaving the new face-brick building covered in black soot.

“Why is it that our municipality takes no notice? I have also brought this subject up at the Loop St police monthly meetings. All I get are deaf ears,” said Wilson.

He said the vagrants defecate, urinate, loiter and light fires against the brand-new walls to melt the plastic off copper cables.

“They leave all the mess behind, creating a huge litter eyesore,” he said.

Although not going into too much detail, Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said they condemned the destruction of municipal property. She said the municipality would be in contact with the local police who will assist in catching and charging the culprits.

Pam Read from the Clarendon Community Association also raised the issue of vagrants damaging the new building and called on the municipality to intervene.

She said that local businesses in the area have taken it upon themselves to clean up and remove the waste every Monday morning.

“I have been in touch with the municipality who are aware of it and they advised me of other substations with similar problems.

“This has been a sorry state for a long time now but nothing is being done to keep these people away,” Read said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  witness warriors

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