MLM rotational load shedding frustrates residents

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GK CRONJE

2 June 2020

Feeble excuses such as suspiciously incessant alleged cable faults on the 88kVA line, random system overloads, illegal connections and a myriad of other nonsensical explanations for inefficient service delivery on the part of the municipality only elongates the noose that MLM hands itself.

Infuriated residents are left in the dark on a daily basis, since Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM) resorted to rotational municipal load shedding. MLM stated that the load shedding is due to the high demand of electricity from residents, and the load shedding is to avoid complete blackout and damage to substations and equipment. While this is all good and well, the fact that electricity is not restored in a timeous manner is the thorn in the side of residents affected. Aggravating the situation even more is the fact that several wards and areas in and around Ermelo has been without water for nearly 48 hours, with no solution or information forthcoming from MLM. The call centre displays their usual sterling inefficiency, and residents are left pondering their fate in darkness. Complaints from residents also includes the fact the schedule posted by MLM are changed without informing the residents, and that the electricity supply is interrupted randomly and in conflict with the scheduled times. The largest influx of complaints are from De Bruin Park residents, where the rotational load shedding has been implemented for more than two weeks in succession, and often during peak times when children needs to bathed, and the time that any normal household would cook food for their families. Several residents have reported being left without electricity for more than 72 hours, and residents of Thusiville bears a large brunt of the outages. Claims have also surfaced that residents who purchase electricity directly from Eskom experience no load shedding at all. Adding fuel to the fire is that the load shedding has been implemented by MLM, with no information or turnaround plan released to the residents affected. Residents in John Vorster Park are left hands in their hair with the daily electricity interruptions, often being left without electricity for up to six hours at a time. Several residents have also stated that wards that experienced no electricity issues for several years are suddenly bearing the brunt of the outages, despite no significant residential development in the area.

While MLM blames illegal connections, ageing infrastructure and demand that is too high, the question on everyone’s mind is how long residents will sit without electricity once Eskom implements load shedding on a national scale. Residents in Ermelo and the surrounding areas lament the fact that MLM fails consistently to provide the service that they are paid for providing. One resident highlighted the fact that MLM is quick to disconnect electricity supply to your residence or business should you fall behind on payments, but does not reciprocate by providing basic service delivery. The situation currently experienced by residents in Ermelo is slated as unacceptable, to say the least. At the end of the day, it would seem that MLM plays the blame game instead of accepting responsibility for their poor service delivery.

Feeble excuses such as suspiciously incessant alleged cable faults on the 88kVA line, random system overloads, illegal connections and a myriad of other nonsensical explanations for inefficient service delivery on the part of the municipality only elongates the noose that MLM hands itself. The Tribune will submit enquiries to MLM, various political parties and the Ermelo Business Association regarding the issues experienced. Read the various responses in next week’s newspaper.

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