Mooi River plunged into darkness as duo torch substation, offices

2017-06-20 13:45
The Mpofana Municipality HR offices by allegedly by two unknown men. INSET: The charred remains of the office.

The Mpofana Municipality HR offices by allegedly by two unknown men. INSET: The charred remains of the office. (Supplied)

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Mooi River was plunged into darkness on Sunday night after the main electricity substation was set alight.

The town’s municipal Human Resources offices was also torched.

Mpofana Mayor Xolani Duma, said “two criminals” razed the substation and municipal offices.

“At around 9 pm on Sunday night two men were reported to have burnt down the local substation. They placed a burning tyre inside the substation.

“They then went to the municipal HR offices where they told the security guard to run and then threw what is believed to be petrol bombs into the offices,” said Duma.

Duma said critical documents of people who had applied for recently advertised posts were burnt.

“No one had been appointed as yet so we really do not understand why these people burnt down our HR offices. We believe they were pure criminals who want to cause chaos in the community,” he said, adding the police intelligence and the municipality were investigating the matter.

Duma said the municipality had no money to fix the damages. “This is a major setback for the municipality and will require us to spend money we don’t have but we have no choice but to get everything fixed, and fast,” he said.

The mayor said specialists were at the burnt substation yesterday to assess the damage, which will take two to three days to fix. “I would like to apologise to all the residents and business owners in Mooi River who have been left in the dark. We are working hard to restore the power and urge anyone with any information to contact the local police,” said Duma.

Duma advised residents who had gas stoves to fill up on gas and to buy candles and wood until the power is restored. Mooi River businessman Donovan Carter said although he had generators, he was worried about the cost implications. “It will be very expensive to keep my businesses running because of this power outage. This whole protest is unfair and some people will be forced to close. This electricity outage may well lead to us being without water because there is no electricity to pump the water,” said Carter.

Sterling Terrace residents said their area was without electricity since 9 pm on Sunday night. They said numerous calls to the municipality went unanswered and after getting hold of an employee on his private cellphone, they were told they would be “lucky” if power returned in the next three days.

“We heard that the main substation was burnt. What are we supposed to do now? How can we sit like this without electricity?” a resident asked.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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