Broken power boxes exposed

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Broken electrical boxes are a huge concern for Derrick Morris, chairman of the Umtentweni Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (URRA).

ALSO READ : Power theft surges

A tour around the leafy suburb of Tweni with ward councillor Leon Garbade and Mr Morris revealed 26 electrical boxes in urgent need of maintenance.

The state of boxes on roads such as Eagle, Commercial and Marine Drive are particularly bad, with a string of boxes either with doors hanging off their rusted hinges, cables tied together or unlocked.

Mr Morris said he was extremely worried that someone, perhaps even a child, would be electrocuted if these boxes were not repaired.

“About 75 percent of the suburb’s boxes are unsecured, and already we have had an incident in which a home’s electricity was cut off and the house was burgled,” said Mr Morris.

Cllr Garbade pointed out that Protea Park, Palm View and Albersville are facing the same problem.

“It’s the job of the municipality to protect their residents and to intervene and communicate with the relevant department to get this fixed,” said Cllr Garbade.

In response, Simon April, spokesman for Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, said Umtentweni, Protea Park and Palm View fell under the Eskom area of supply and the damaged electrical boxes had been reported to Eskom.

“The municipality has an ongoing programme to identify and replace old or rusted mini-substation covers and damaged AP4 boxes within its areas of supply. During August and September new steel AP4 boxes were installed in the Albersville (Andreason Street, Sugar Mill and Albersville Roads) and Port Shepstone areas,” he said.

With regards to the street lights not working along the R102, Mr April said there was a persistent problem of copper cables being stolen along that stretch of road and that this affected the streetlights from Umtentweni to the Mzimkhulu bridge.

Derrick Morris, chairman of the Umtentweni Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (left) and Ward Councillor Leon Garbade examine the open electrical box at Tweni beachfront, which poses as a danger to residents.

“As a solution to try and deter copper cable theft, aluminium cables have since been installed and an electrician has been assigned to inspect and repair streetlights near the country club.”

Mr Morris, who has been on a mission to clean up Tweni, urges residents to work with the municipality and URRA, by not leaving their rubbish out for collection on the wrong day, and by not dumping! 

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  AUTHOR
Shona Aylward
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