Pro­test­ers burn tyres af­ter power woes

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - No­maz­ima Nkosi

KWANOBUHLE res­i­dents burnt tyres yes­ter­day af­ter var­i­ous parts of the area had not had elec­tric­ity since Fri­day.

Parts of KwaNobuhle such as Wards 46, 47 and 51 have been without power for four days.

Luyanda Ji­bi­liza, who lives in Si­wasa Street, said no in­di­ca­tion was given that the elec­tric­ity would be switched off.

“When we woke up on Fri­day, there was noth­ing and it still has not come back. When we made calls re­gard­ing the mat­ter we were told some­thing hap­pened at the power sta­tion and it would be re­stored,” Ji­bi­liza said.

“Peo­ple are frus­trated be­cause one feels that if this hap­pened in the sub­urbs it would have been re­solved on Fri­day al­ready.”

Res­i­dents burnt tyres in Ma­bandla Road and then walked to the coun­cil­lor’s of­fice in Po­nana Tini Road where they de­manded that the power be re­stored.

Ward 46 coun­cil­lor Lin­delwa Qukubana said res­i­dents stormed her of­fice de­mand­ing they re­store the elec­tric­ity. “When we woke up to no elec­tric­ity on Fri­day we called the en­gi­neer­ing and in­fra­struc­ture depart­ment.

“Work­ers came and tried to fix the prob­lem but when the clock struck 4pm, they downed tools be­cause they are not paid over­time,” Qukubana said.

Busi­ness­man Sivuy­ile Watani, who owns Kwano’s Meat Cor­ner, was one of many af­fected.

“The power out­age af­fected busi­nesses big time be­cause we de­pend on it for our liveli­hood. I had to store meat for my tshisa nyama with fam­ily be­cause I didn’t want it to spoil.”

Mu­nic­i­pal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said dis­rup­tions could be partly blamed on of­fi­cials up­set by amend­ments to the over­time pol­icy.

For the past month, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and its work­ers have been at log­ger­heads, with work­ers de­mand­ing they be paid ac­cord­ing to a long­stand­ing col­lec­tive agree­ment rather than a new over­time pol­icy .

Mniki apol­o­gised to res­i­dents for the in­con­ve­nience.

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