Protesting residents angry over two-week power cut
“It is unfortunate that residents have to protest to get a simple basic service that the municipality is obligated to provide,” said DA councillor Zuko Mandile on Monday when New Rest residents blockaded Bells and Victoria roads with stones and burning tyres due to a two-week power outage.
New Rest was left in the dark after a transformer blew.
The angry residents blamed the municipality for failing to communicate and resolve the problem timeously.
“The situation is getting dire. There had been no feedback from anyone with regards to the electricity.
“Yes, the new transformer did arrive on Friday but the connection that was done was substandard, hence it exploded a day later,” said Mandile.
“We are angry because noone from the municipality or someone from the contractor came to inform the community about what is happening. We were told they could not find the parts.”
Resident Sally-Anne Fillis said: “We were quiet for too long, we wanted to be heard. The protest was not violent.”
Another resident, Myrtle Rowland, said: “One litre of paraffin is R25. I had to throw away meat as it was rotten and we can’t even buy from shops as they’re also without electricity.”
Ward 11 councillor Andile Ganca confirmed that parts had been sourced and assured residents the power would be restored later that day.
Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality spokesperson Lonwabo Kowa said a major fault had caused the outage.
“The fault involved a damaged transformer and fuses that were replaced. A damaged cable fault was also discovered. Procurement of the transformer and necessary material caused the prolonged outage. However, the power supply was restored on Monday,” said Kowa.