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Centurion residents frustrated by prolonged power outage

Residents of Zwartkop in Centurion were without electricity for days. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Residents of Zwartkop in Centurion were without electricity for days. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 26, 2022


Pretoria - Frustrated residents of Zwartkop in Centurion, Pretoria, who were without electricity from Sunday, yesterday expressed disappointment after the City of Tshwane failed to honour its promise to fix the prolonged outage.

For days residents were left in the lurch and forced to use cold water for bathing in the morning, despite the freezing weather.

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Perishable foods, such as meat and vegetables that were kept refrigerated, went bad due to lack of power.

One resident griped about the fact that he was forced to work from a local mall’s charging station in order to access power. However, his workstation was not comfortable as he had to sit all day at the mall, incurring expenses like buying coffee and food.

The situation saw another resident moving her children to Pretoria North so that they could have a warm bath and food. Her frustration was exacerbated by lack of wi-fi connectivity.

“This means more petrol to take them (children) to school in Centurion,” the resident said.

Despite numerous promises by the City of Tshwane that it was on top of the situation, and that power would be restored on Monday night, residents woke to the same situation on Wednesday.

Some residents said they were told by the City officials that the electricity cables were too close to water pipes.

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Yesterday, a report came through from local councillor Peter Sutton, who is also the MMC for Finance, that the cable repair at Bosvelder was done on Tuesday night.

Sutton said: “The testing team was walking the line to determine the location of the additional fault(s) on the main line. One fault was detected feeding into our T-4 on the premises of BCX. There is also another fault on the line from Bosvelder to the T-4.”

He said that the City “did not yet know what caused these multiple faults on this specific line, but we will work to fix them and get power restored”.

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The update did little to calm residents left in the dark. One said: “Water is running from my fridge and freezer. I can just imagine how it looks inside. Just put down towels and hope for a miracle … promises promises, and no bath again.”

Another yesterday morning said the fish in her tank were dying, as the tank relied on electricity.

Others wanted to know how they could claim for financial losses.

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“My immediate neighbours bought groceries on the weekend. They are from Bloem. They said yesterday they packed the freezer up and took everything to a home in Pretoria West – meat, veggies, leaving us with nothing for the remainder of the month,” another resident said.

Municipal spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the power outage in Zwartkops was due to “three 11 kV cable faults and switchgear faults”.

According to him, power was restored in the area by late afternoon.

Some residents wanted to know how they could claim for financial losses incurred as a result of food going bad in fridges owing to power outages.

Mashigo said: “All claims will be subjected to a legal process. The email address is: [email protected]

Pretoria News