Pelham man wins battle to restore street lights

2017-09-11 13:51
Pelham man wins battle to restore street lights.

Pelham man wins battle to restore street lights. (File)

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A Pelham man has successfully won his one-year battle to get his street lights working.

Grant Kroutz has been writing to the municipality since last year to fix the faulty streetlights on Crawford Road.

Kroutz sent a heartfelt thank you to the team from the electricity department who restored the lighting on his street last week.

He said the team initially came out and repaired the streetlights as a temporary fix.

When one hears “temporary fix”, people tend to accept that temporary will eventually lead to permanent. But Kroutz said he arrived home last week to an “exceptionally” well-lit street from top to bottom. The temporary fix was replaced with permanent and new energy-saver lights.

“They are fantastic,” he said.

“In the 16 years that I’ve lived here, this is the best that it’s ever been. The area is now almost as well-lit as Harry Gwala Stadium.”

The issues with Crawford Road streetlights started around October last year when cable thieves “neatly” chopped off copper cables in the early hours of the morning from the nearby street lights.

Kroutz said that he initially thought that the earth leakage unit in their distribution board may have tripped.

“Around the same time, the dogs in our immediate vicinity were barking furiously,” he said.

Hours later, he said he heard arcing — a luminous electrical current — coming from the street pole outside his yard and when he investigated he found that two cables had been neatly cut and were arcing against the wet grass.

He reported the matter, but he said no one from the municipality came to attend to it.

A month after that incident, Kroutz said his neighbour’s home was burgled but he could not capture the registration of the getaway vehicle as the street was dark.

“The area was poorly lit and that contributed to the burglary and the fact that I could not get the details of the white Polo Vivo in time,” he said.

In October last year, shortly after the sabotaged cables on the street poles were eventually “patched up” by municipal employees, Kroutz said his daughter was on the receiving end of an electrical shock.

She was in the shower and when she touched the tap, she was shocked. “So it appeared the risk of receiving an electrical shock was transferred from outside my home to inside,” he said.

He said his neighbours had a similar experience and after discussion, it turned out to be the case at a few other homes in Crawford Road.

Throughout all the incidents, Kroutz continuously e-mailed a list of municipal officials and was eventually assisted.

“It was worth the wait. The new, significantly brighter energy-saver lights are amazing,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  witness warriors

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