Couple angry about electricity supply interruption

This is the electricity box which supplies electricity to Mpama family and has a faulty cable which interrupts the supply to the family house.

A couple from Gugulethu are desperate for the ongoing interruptions to their electricity supply to be resolved.

But it appears they may have been complaining to the wrong people as they’ve been raising their concerns with Eskom instead of the City of Cape Town which manages the electricity supply to their area.

The couple said the problem started in 2015 and claim that despite having reported the matter on numerous occasions, it has not been resolved.

A visibly angry Eunice Mpama, 56, said Eskom workers informed them that their problem had been resolved but did not inform them in detail what was causing the electricity to go off.

She added that they also had trouble loading electricity to their prepaid meter.

For two years, she said, they were unable to buy electricity even though their electricity supply had not been cut off. Then in 2017, said Ms Mpama, they received an electricity bill for close to R5 000 and were accused of benefiting from an illegal electricity connection.

She told Vukani that they were required to settle the bill before they would be able to purchase prepaid electricity again – which they did. But then in December last year, their supply was cut off again.

She said they were instructed that in order for them to be able to buy electricity again, they needed to settle their bill. This time workers apparently told them that an electricity cable which is meant to distribute electricity to their house had been damaged and needed to be replaced.

But up until now nothing has been done about it.

Their electricity being cut off again in recent weeks, said Ms Mpama, was the last straw and she decided to turn to the media for help.

“I live with my husband and we suffer from chronic diseases. I have diabetes and my medication must always be in the fridge and now that I have this battle of electricity my life is at risk.

“I have now been forced to ask my neighbours to keep my medication in their fridge. And I take my medication daily and now that means I have to go to my neighbour’s house every time I need take my medication,” she said.

Her husband, Kholekile Mpama, 64, said he does not understand why is it so difficult to change or repair the faulty cable.

Bulelwa Ncobo, from Eskom corporate affairs division, said Gugulethu’s electricity was supplied by the City of Cape Town, and not directly by Eskom.

Vukani then asked the City for their input on the matter, but by the time this story was published, they had not yet responded.