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eThekwini Municipality says electrical maintenance work, repairs ‘ongoing’ in oThongathi, Verulam but work allegedly stopped at all depots

Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Published Dec 30, 2021

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DURBAN - THE general maintenance of electrical infrastructure and work on outages have allegedly stopped at all depots within eThekwini Municipality.

The DA said there had been very serious water and electricity outages in oThongathi and Verulam, north of Durban, over the festive period.

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Exco member Yogis Govender said these areas had experienced daily outages because eThekwini had failed to carry out preventative maintenance for the last 20 to 30 years.

“I am informed by a reliable source that maintenance in terms of medium and low voltage contracts has stopped at all depots … the City has failed to timeously renew them.”

But eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said they were responding to complaints and repairs were being made since they had a fault contract in place.

“It is the extension of the maintenance contract that we are working on that expired. Paperwork for renewal is in order. Electricity management cannot allow them to go into the field before all the paperwork is complete.”

Mayisela said it was not true that no maintenance had been done for 20 to 30 years.

“The same expired contract was addressing preventative maintenance.”

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Mayisela added: “Vandalism to water and electricity infrastructure in eThekwini Municipality is posing a challenge to the City to provide uninterrupted services to residents.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the mayor of Ugu District Municipality, Phumlile Mthiyane, convened an urgent recess committee meeting with role players to consider a consolidated report on the status of water supply and the environmental impact on rivers and lagoons on the South Coast.

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