Lambton community suffer in power outages

Straaten said he is frustrated and has had enough. He said the power issue is simple being ignored.

Resident and business owner Paul van Straaten of Lavonne Devine at Grants Dairy Farm in Jacoba Road, Germiston, is one of many who is tired of the lack of service delivery in the Lambton area.

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This comes after a substation opposite his business burned down.

The area has been without power for more than 25 days at the time of going to print.

Van Straaten said the power problem is being ignored.

“I have not seen anyone attending to the substation. All the equipment inside is gone,” said Van Straaten.

“I have reported it numerous times to the customer care centre and the councillor with no assistance,” he said.

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He moved into the premises two months ago and he is already facing challenges because of an unreliable energy supply.

“I’m not making money. Since I moved in I have only had power for a month. No power means no customers. I’m renting this place and without customers, I won’t be able to pay rent,” said Van Straaten.

He said he has already lost R16 000 worth of stock.

Resident Paul van Straaten in his business. He has been without power for 26 days

“My business is suffering and we don’t have a generator,” said Straaten.

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He said the worst part is that no one seems to care, not the ward councillor and not the City of Ekurhuleni.

He said the lack of communication is troubling as he is unable to implement contingency plans.

“Our lives have been turned upside down and CoE does nothing – even when we report and request for help.”

He accused the ward councillor of showing no interest in assisting residents.

Candice Aparicio said she witnessed the substation exploding.

“I logged a call and called the fire department. The company that was patrolling on the day said they saw someone running to the highway,” Aparicio said.

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“We have to boil water outside using wood to bath. My boyfriend is now having chest pains because of all the smoke.

“Three houses and two businesses are affected by this situation,” she said.

“Last year they stole a circuit breaker and we had to wait for two weeks for a replacement.

“The substation is no longer secure because they broke the fence protecting it from vandals,” said Aparicio.

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Ward 37 Clr Ivan Naidoo visited the affected residents on June 20.

He said he has escalated residents’ complaints to the energy department but he has not received any feedback.

“Drug use in this ward is a problem. These youngsters steal the cables and circuit breakers. Some equipment contains a powder which they sniff to get high,” he said.

“The biggest challenge is that the municipality has not paid contractors for two weeks, ao they are not coming out to fix problems,” said Naidoo.

“Unfortunately this encourages criminal elements to continue at night and delay residents and businesses of access to power.”

GCN sent a request for comment to the CoE regarding the power problems and allegations of contractors not getting paid.

ALSO READ: Power theft aggravates winter power outages

Comment was requested by June 23 at 10:00.

At the time of going to print no comment had been received.

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