It is a new year, yet power outages and cable faults are still a problem in Komani.
Businesses in the central business district are still having power outages as Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) struggles to sort out the recurring cable faults.
Foschini manager, Asanda Nkemo, said the retailer located in Cathcart Road has had constant outages since December 31. Numerous calls to and efforts by Enoch Mgijima technical teams had not managed to stop the outages.
“They usually come and we have power for few hours, but it will be off again soon. Some days they do not even tell us they have left and we operate the whole day without electricity,” she said.
Nkeno added that the outages were also affecting the business. “We are not the only ones in this street with the problem. The business next to us is constantly off as well. It is frustrating for us because clients often do not understand when we say we cannot process their payments or accounts because of the power and some of them just leave,” said Nkeno.
Thistledown preschool located School Street has had no power since January 8. School manager Esther Dowling said the outages made it difficult to keep the school open and operating a generator every day was expensive.
“We cannot be in the dark because we are working with children. We need power so that means the generator is constantly on. I have called the municipality almost every day since January 8. Now they are telling me they do not really know why we are not getting electricity and that they will need a machine from Mthatha to sort out this problem. That is almost definitely another two weeks without power. Even when the machine arrives they might not have a person who knows how to operate it.
“It is very frustrating because there seems to be no motivation to help us get power as soon as possible. Parents have been more helpful, with some bringing the petrol we need for the generator.
“We need hot water along with sanitisers to make sure this place is constantly disinfected and clean. We are constantly using the gas stove, even to make tea,” she added.
EMLM spokesperson, Lonwabo Kowa, said this was the result of a faulty cable. “There is a major cable fault affecting two addresses. This fault was caused by water. The faulty 100-metre cable needs to be replaced and at this stage, the municipality is trying to source it,” said Kowa.