eThekwini municipality has to improve delivery, say those in the dark
Durban - Residents of Phoenix have called for better response times and service delivery from the eThekwini Municipality after residents in parts of Woodview were left without electricity for days following a power cut at the weekend.
Resident Ashnie Bisoonpersad said she had been without power since Saturday morning.
Adding to her frustration, she had been unable to get through to the municipality’s call centre to log an electricity fault.
“For three days now we haven’t been able to have a warm meal and have had to take cold baths during very cold weather. I am very disappointed in the eThekwini Municipality as I’ve tried to reach their call centre numerous times to the point that I exhausted my airtime after being put on hold. I’ve also called until my phone’s battery died.
“This has been a deeply traumatic experience as I’ve had to explain to my ailing mother who has suffered from three strokes why we are consistently in the dark. Someone needs to be accountable and to explain to us why the call centre is not answering and ratepayers can’t reach them.”
Woodview Ratepayers’ Association chairperson Theo Pillay said power cuts occurred often as a result of contractors installing fibre digging through electrical wires and water pipes.
There had been sporadic power cuts in parts of Woodview, but the biggest issue was that outages were not addressed timeously, he said.
“There are people who have been without power for 3-4 days now and that is unacceptable. The issue is with municipal services not being able to be reached on their call centre lines, which is pathetic. We also ask for better project management of fibre installation as key infrastructure is being damaged, which affects residents.”
Ethekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said: “We are not aware of system faults; as far as the City knows, the call centres are operating as normal. We do concede that like any other technical system there will be glitches here and there and it’s not unique to eThekwini; it happens to most call centres.
“However, we sincerely apologise to our residents who could not reach us, but at all times we try our level best to ensure they communicate with us and we address whatever hiccups there are in our processes of providing basic services,” Mayisela said.
“The City will work tirelessly to tighten any loose screws to its system for the benefit of all its stakeholders.”