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Community, research station left in the dark

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The Proefplaas community near Jan Kempdorp has been left without electricity for the past month after a damaged electric cable that was dug up was never replaced.

IN THE DARK: The Proefplaas community near Jan Kempdorp has been without electricity for nearly a month after the damaged cables leading to the farm were dug up and never replaced.

THE PROEFPLAAS community near Jan Kempdorp has been left without electricity for the past month after a damaged electric cable that was dug up was never replaced.

About 10 families that are living on the farm – where the majority of the community members are employed at the Department of Agriculture’s research station situated on the farm – are making use of candles after being left in the dark for over three weeks.

The Department of Agriculture’s research station, which serves the biggest irrigation area in the country, has also not been able to operate without a power supply.

The research station tests the water quality and also detects and prevents the destruction of crops by vermin, insects and worm infestations in the Vaalharts area.

AfriForum district co-ordinator in the Karoo, Lize-Mari Smit, indicated that she would visit the area tomorrow to determine the extent of the problem.

“We understand that the cable was dug up but was never replaced or reconnected to the transformer,” said Smit.

The spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs, Zandisile Luphahla, explained that the power supply in the upper part of the research station has been cut for the past three weeks after the cable burned out.

“This is after the department dug it out to detect the cause of the problem. At the moment we are looking at different alternatives to remedy the situation. We should emphasise, however, that the matter is receiving necessary attention,” said Luphahla.