Residents left in the dark

Wallacedene councillor Simpiwe Nonkeyizana believes illegal connections are causing power outages.

Kraaifontein residents are up in arms about unexpected power cuts.

Bardene Coetzee from Phase 6 in Wallacedene says Monday, April 5 was her first night in darkness.

Rushing to her electricity meter- which showed no reading- she went and checked other houses in her street but said there was no sign of light.

Luckily she was preparing for bed at the time and never minded the darkness.

But says she became “frustrated” when she was left without power for three more days.

Ms Coetzee said the power only went back on, on Thursday, April 9 and remained on for the long Easter weekend until they were “surprised” with more power cuts on Tuesday, April 14 and yesterday just after 4pm.

“We thought that it was a fault somewhere in our area and it had been repaired, until we were left in darkness again,” she said.

She added that her Eskom app does not warn about power outages and is left in the dark about what’s happening.

Ms Coetzee said she lives with her brother in Ndondo Street and is unable to cook for them if the power is out.

“I don’t have a gas stove and we cannot buy take-aways as we usually would when its load shedding, because we are under lockdown and places are closed. We have to bath in cold water or sit and wait for the electricity to come back on.”

But sitting and waiting is not an option for Jennifer Josephs of Bloekombos who says she has to travel to work at a retail store in Durbanville.

“I form part of essential services and have to walk to the corner to catch a taxi just before 7am, the area is still dark and it has become dangerous for us who walk to the rank if the lights are off here,” she said.

She added that the power cuts have burnt a hole in her pocket because she has to buy something to eat every night.

“We don’t know when we will be without electricity because it goes on for an hour, then off again for four or five hours. There is just no warning,” she said.

Wallacedene and Bloekombos are the only areas that have been affected to date.

Wallacedene councillor Simpiwe Nonkeyizana said residents from Bloekombos and Wallacedene have turned to him with questions he does not have the answers to.

 “Wallacedene and  Bloekombos is an Eskom supply area and the City is not aware of any power outages in the area,” he said.

 He added that he suspected “illegal connections” to be the problem.

Eskom spokesperson Trish Da Silva said they were aware of the intermittent interruptions to the power supply to some areas in Kraaifontein.

She added that Eskom’s engineers were currently on site to investigate and resolve the fault.

“It must be noted that Eskom has not implemented load shedding,” she said.

Asked about the illegal connections, she said, “Illegal connections can be a problem but we don’t know yet if that is the issue here”.