DAMAGED TELKOM CABLE: THE COSTS MOUNT
A PIETERMARITZBURG business owner said he has lost as much as 60% of his business since Telkom cables in the CBD went down two weeks ago.
Kitchen n Stuff owner Mohamed Amod said with phones and card machines down, it is becoming increasingly challenging to keep customers happy.
“As small business owners, we are already fighting a declining economy and load shedding. Now our phone lines and card machines are down too,” he said.
A frustrated Amod said he had lost up to 60% of his business as customers were fed up with not being able to reach the shop by phone, and then only learn when they get to the shop that they can only pay with cash.
“Customers don’t like carrying big amounts of cash, come in and they don’t carry cash around. They just have their credit cards and debit cards and when you tell them they can only pay cash, they leave the items at the till and walk out.”
Mohamed said he had not been informed of any temporary measures to keep businesses going while the lines were down.
Another Pietermaritzburg business owner, Rex Boreham, said he had contacted Telkom numerous times when the lines first went down. Telkom has since diverted all calls to his cellphone. Govender’s Garage manager Seenie Kanavathy said Telkom had also offered to divert landline calls to employees’ cellphones in the interim.
Last week, The Witness reported a major Telkom cable in central Pietermaritzburg had been damaged when the Msunduzi Municipality accidentally struck the cable while installing solar- powered street lights.
Telkom spokesperson Pynee Chetty said Telkom was working around the clock to restore the lines and they would take just over two weeks to fix.
“Where possible, Telkom will offer alternative services to customers. Affected customers may enquire about the services at the Liberty Mall Telkom store.”
• You can call 10210 to report a faulty line or to get assistance from Telkom.