Residents left in the dark

2017-09-21 13:45
The fire in an electricity box near Newholmes Way on Tuesday was allegedly the cause of the power outage in that area.

The fire in an electricity box near Newholmes Way on Tuesday was allegedly the cause of the power outage in that area. (Supplied)

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Residents  living in the northern areas have lashed out at the municipality for their lack of communication during several power outages since Saturday.

An outage in Madurai Road was the first of two other outages in separate areas this week.

Madurai Road residents were plunged into darkness on Saturday morning.

Residents living in Newholmes were left without electricity for about five hours on Tuesday evening while the Willowton industrial area had a lengthy power outage yesterday afternoon and a shorter outage last night.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the outage was caused by a cable fault but did not comment further on the delay of the electricity department in attending to the problem.

Residents said their numerous calls to the municipal call centre “only frustrated everyone more” as call centre agents could not tell residents what caused the outage or when the power would be restored.

“They insisted there were people out there working on the problem but we drove around and so did other neighbours and we did not see anyone working,” said frustrated resident Mala Rajah.

She said a cable, believed to be the cause of the electricity woes, was allegedly damaged while municipal employees replaced the street poles in the area about five months ago.

“For three days we were left without electricity and it took them two hours to fix it on Tuesday. Two hours of work that took them three days to attend to. No one cares about service delivery in the municipality,” she said.

Ward councillor for the area Rooksana Ahmed said she was inundated with complaints from frustrated residents during the lengthy power outage.

“Residents were at their wits’ end. They have work and school to attend. There are elderly and ill people who live there too,” Ahmed said.

Residents living close to Plaice Place near Newholmes Way watched an electricity box catch alight on Tuesday in what they suspected was the cause of the power outage there.

“It was just the strangest thing to see this small power box catch alight so fiercely. We believe someone set fire to it and we cannot help but wonder if it was sabotage by municipal employees yet again so they could get called out to work overtime,” said one of the residents.

Power was restored to the area at around 11 pm on Tuesday night.

Mafumbatha did not respond to questions regarding this power outage or the Willowton one on Wednesday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  power outage

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