Since the start of Lichtenburg’s power crisis in July this year, residents have barely had a break before the latest prolonged electricity outage hits them again.
RNews earlier reported that many frustrated residents of Lichtenburg wanted to gather at the municipality in August this year and march to Eskom after they had to cope with extremely limited electricity for a month.
According to Naudé Pienaar, deputy general manager of Agri North West, the despondency in the town has now reached a new level.
“Lichtenburg’s latest power crisis already started on October 15 when lightning struck one of the substations. The town has now (again) been without electricity for three weeks.”
He believes that poor maintenance and poor workmanship caused some of the other substations to also be damaged due to the damage from the lightning bolt.
“It took workers two weeks to weld the lines again and to replace the cables, but when they tried to turn the lines back on on October 29, it only caused further explosions and short circuits,” he says.
According to Pienaar, this only worsened the situation.
“Some of the lines have since been repaired, but it sounds like workers are waiting for further cables, loads and panels. They suspect that the power in Lichtenburg will not be restored until Wednesday.
“We also had a meeting with the current municipal manager and he confirmed that there are no funds available to carry out repairs and that they are trying to make money available from any possible source.”
Pienaar says many of the businesses are heavily affected by the power cuts.
“Businesses in the area are suffering enormous losses and residents are already at a loss about the struggle. They have suffered just as many losses due to the fact that they have to do without refrigerators and freezers for more than three weeks and live in total discomfort.”
Many residents marched through the streets of the town on Tuesday and reportedly set tires on fire. The DA of the Ditsobotla municipality has confirmed the protest action regarding the electricity situation affecting Burgersdorp, Blydeville, Retiefpark and the business district. The police were present at the protest and monitored the situation.
However, the municipality says in a statement that they have been working non-stop on repairs since mid-October.
“The municipality has already appointed a contractor to start replacing the panels in the main station to speed up the restoration of electricity in the affected areas of Lichtenburg.
“The contractor pointed out to the municipality that the panels would be delivered on Wednesday 1 November, and would be installed immediately as soon as they are in Lichtenburg.”
However, Wednesday has come and gone and large parts of Lichtenburg are still without electricity.
“Please note that the municipality will restore the power supply as soon as the work on site is fully completed.
“The municipality sincerely apologizes for all the inconvenience caused by the power outage.”