Weeks of no electricity for Buffalo City town

2017-02-10 11:50
A street in Mzamomhle, Gonubie, near East London, where residents have been without electricity for weeks. Photo: Buziwe Nocuze, GroundUp

A street in Mzamomhle, Gonubie, near East London, where residents have been without electricity for weeks. Photo: Buziwe Nocuze, GroundUp

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East London - Residents of Mzamomhle, in Gonubie, have been without electricity for two weeks and may have to wait another two months before being reconnected.

A transformer exploded in the area, about 20km from East London, on January 22, GroundUp reported.

One local, Mandisa Gobongo, said they reported the problem to the Buffalo City Municipality.

“When there is no electricity, everything stands still, because some of us do not even have money to buy gas or paraffin,” Gobongo said.

“Our municipality is quiet. We don’t know how long it will take for us to have electricity again."

A shop owner said business had slowed.

“People want cold drinks and fresh meat and unfortunately I cannot provide them with that since there is no electricity and that is destroying my business,” he said.

'We are suffering'

Nolizo Ziqubu, an unemployed single mother of three children, said she had no money to buy paraffin and no primus stove.

Another resident, who owned a fish and chips shop, said: “We don’t just sell for the sake of selling. We are doing it so that we can feed our families, but without electricity, we cannot put anything on the table for our families. We are suffering.”

Buffalo City Municipality spokesperson Sibusiso Cindi said the explosion was due to illegal connections. They were waiting for a new transformer to be delivered.

Extensive illegal connections throughout the municipality meant a large number of transformers were needed. It took six to 12 weeks to deliver one, even though the municipality ordered them on a regular basis. The delays were due to the high turnover caused by illegal connections, he said.

Cindi appealed to residents to report illegal connections.

Read more on:    east london  |  service delivery  |  electricity

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