The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - CHELSEA PI­ETERSE • chelsea. pi­eterse@ wit­ness. co. za

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.

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