Residents tripped up by Utrecht power

Frequent power outages have sparked annoyance among Utrecht residents.

UTRECHT – Residents and businesses in Utrecht are shocked at electricity problems in the town.

This is a continuation of a report by the Newcastle Advertiser in March of 2016, relating to frequent power outages in Utrecht and a survey of functioning electrical boxes by AfriForum.

A year on, residents have again mentioned electricity woes in Utrecht.

One business owner said the current electrical supply saw numerous dropped phases, to the extent where the business suffered about R100 000 in damages after its fridges went off.

“Workers put in cables after a pipe burst about a month ago, and we were without power for a day.”

The business owner explained she could hear the power tripping many times each day, and said the electricity problems were causing massive losses each month.

As one of the largest employers in Utrecht, she said the situation was grim.

Members of AfriForum commented that although electrical faults were repaired quickly by the eMadlangeni Municipality, technical problems were abundant.

This matter was referred to the municipality for response in March.

eMadlangeni Municipality’s Communications Department issued a response, clarifying it was responsible for distribution of electricity, while Eskom was responsible for supply.

It further stated the cause of the power fluctuations was identified.

“The power outages were caused by severe storms and lightning which hit over the head lines and wind break jumpers on the overhead line.”

Asked what plans were in place to ensure power supply remained constant, the response stated the Electrical Department responded to outages and was always on standby.

The municipality also claimed to have a potential solution.

“The municipality has applied for funding from CoGTA (Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs) to replace old infrastructure in eMadlangeni; the application was cancelled due to internal problems. As soon as these issues have been resolved, the municipality will re-apply.”


Bruce Douglas

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