On Friday 2 October the businesses and homes that form part of the Smith 2 breaker were without electricity for many hours. They later received notification from the Mkhondo Local Municipality that there were major problems with the Smith 2 breaker as well as cable faults.
Community members were notified that the area would be fed from the Mark and Klopper breaker, until the necessary repairs could be completed. Later on that day, most parts in town were without electricity and another notification from the MLM stated that there were multiple cable faults within the power network. A team was dispatched to search for the origin of the power outage.
The residents of Mkhondo who were fortunate to have electricity were urged to minimize using electrical appliances as far as possible, to bring down the load and in doing so power could be distributed to other parts of town as well. By the end of the day, some areas had been without electricity for more than 13 hours. Klip –, Engelbrecht –, Oos –, Pretorius –, Smit – Von Brandis, the provincial hospital and surrounding areas were still affected.
The following morning, on Saturday 3 October the MLM’s electrical team was conducting repairs on the corner of Klip – and Engelbrecht Street by isolating the faulty cable. A cable next to Waterside Lodge was being repaired by a different team at the same time.
As well as having no electricity, the residents of Protea and Magnolia Streets were left without water after a faulty water pipe was detected in the area. Municipal employees worked tirelessly to repair the pipe but, during the process of repairing it, another electrical cable was damaged in the process.
On Saturday at approximately 17:15 feedback was given that the water interruption in Protea – and Magnolia Street had been restored. The faulty electrical cable next to Waterside Lodge had also been repaired. The team reconnected the cable at Klip – and Engelbrecht Street which was about 80% complete. Most cables were repaired by 19:30 and the power was restored at last.
Another water pipe burst on Saturday afternoon in Mayet Street in Kempville and there were water interruptions until the repairs were completed later that night.
Employees of the Mkhondo Local Municipality worked constantly to restore electricity and water to the community but, they could not do so without the assistance from the community. Skilled electricians offered their assistance, some people brought the workers food and beverages and some even lent the MLM equipment required to complete the repairs.
It was truly a community effort and the MLM would like to thank each and every person who played a part in the restoration of water and electricity.
Hopefully this will be a lesson learnt, that if there is not rotational maintenance done constantly, then this is what we can expect in the future.
One can also understand the frustration of the public regarding this matter. If you only have to look at the MLM’s Facebook page, there were plenty of unhappy and frustrated residents. What is very interesting is that there is never any feedback from the MLM towards the comments left by the public, pity!