Home News Residents want Eskom to pay damages

Residents want Eskom to pay damages

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Griekwastad residents are seeking compensation from Eskom for damages caused to household appliances and equipment as a result of frequent electricity interruptions.

Community members protested on the N8 earlier this month. Picture: Supplied

GRIEKWASTAD residents are seeking compensation from Eskom for damages caused to household appliances and equipment as a result of frequent electricity interruptions.

Community members barricaded the N8 between Griekwastad and Campbell with burning tyres earlier this month, in protest against water and electricity cuts that had lasted for more than 11 days.

A resident stated that Griekwastad was constantly experiencing power and water interruptions.

“We want Eskom to reconnect us to the Silverstream power line. We were linked to the Douglas power line after a number of poles on the Silverstream power line blew over in December. The Douglas power line is overloaded and trips regularly,” said the resident.

He added that many residents were unable to produce the original invoices for their appliances, in order to claim damages against Eskom.

“There is too much red tape while we have lost thousands of rand. Our household appliances are no longer working because of the power surges.”

AfriForum district co-ordinator Lize-Marie Smit said that they were gathering signatures for a petition that would be handed over to the Northern Cape premier, Eskom and the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs.

She added that Griekwastad residents suffered further damages when their foodstuffs perished due to the power cuts.

“It has resulted in a humanitarian crisis. The members of the community experience frequent power outages, in addition to load shedding. Water cannot be pumped from the borehole without electricity. This means that there is no water for use, household appliances do not work and their food rots in the heat. We request Eskom to immediately repair the power network to prevent a looming disaster,” said Smit.

She said that they had requested Eskom to provide a breakdown of how claims could be made for the damages and to provide timelines as to when the electricity would be restored.

“We also met with the premier on Wednesday to discuss the water shedding in Kimberley and the Sol Plaatje municipal district,” Smit added.

Community members protested on the N8 earlier this month. Picture: Supplied

Eskom spokesperson Zodwa Dlamini explained that Griekwastad and Campbell were supplied by one power line.

“This presented a challenge as there were multiple faults on the Douglas power line that obviously affected power supply to the customers,” said Dlamini.

She stated that the Silverstream line was repaired on February 16, while the network was normalised on February 23.

“There have not been any more supply issues in the area for the past week and a half.”

Dlamini added that Eskom had met with community members in Griekwastad and Campbell on February 15 to inform them about how the claim process worked.

“The meeting was also attended by the mayor and councillors.”

She said they would visit affected areas from March 4 to 8 to assist the community members who wished to submit claims.

“A claim form must be completed, indicating the loss suffered, along with three quotations. The claim will be sent to the insurance department and will be investigated by an engineer and evaluated by the claims committee.”

Dlamini stated that the insurance department would communicate the outcome of the claim, in writing.

Meanwhile, Gamagara DA councillor Neville Koikoi stated that high-lying areas in Olifantshoek have been without water for 30 days

He added that the borehole could not fill enough water in the reservoir.

“I engaged with the municipal manager to seek legal advice regarding the poor provision and delivery of water services to the community. There are six water tanks that are supposed to distribute water and fill up the JoJo tanks,” he said.

Koikoi indicated that the municipality had placed JoJo tanks inside the yards of consenting residents to prevent acts of vandalism.

“The tank is only filled once a day and is not enough to meet the demand of households. Older community members are unable to carry heavy containers of water and the JoJo tanks are emptied out almost as soon as they are filled.”

Gamagara Municipality did not respond to media enquiries.

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