Vlei man struggles to get electricity meter fixed

Vlei resident Something Mcithakali tells Vukani that his meter box has not been working for a month even though he has reported the matter countless times.

A man in the Vlei shanty town says he is living in the dark because municipal workers have failed repeatedly to fix his broken electricity meter box.

Something Mcithakali says the meter’s screen went blank last month and he couldn’t punch in new units.

He had immediately reported the problem to the Fezeka municipal office but had been sent from pillar to post with staff promising to fix the meter but not coming out to his home, he said.

A week later, he had visited the office again, armed with a reference number, but the staff had simply given him a new reference number and failed to tell him why no one had come out.

He had gone to the offices several more times, and then he had been told that his latest reference number had expired.

“I can’t even cook because I do not have electricity. I can’t afford to buy gas stove as I’m unemployed,” he said.

“I have asked my neighbours to allow me plug in my stove so that I can cook, but sometimes they refuse, and I understand that.”

He said he had no idea how many times he had made the long walk to the municipal offices to get the problem sorted out.

“I’m not the only one here in this community who has a problem with electricity. If they cannot help us, why are they working there in the first place? I’m really sick and tired of the bad service that they are rendering or is it because I live in an informal settlement hence they are careless?”

Mayoral committee member for energy Beverley van Reenen said City records showed teams had been sent to Mr Mcithakali’s home on Friday June 30 but had been unable to find it in the informal settlement. And they had also been unable to reach him on the cellphone number he had provided.

The City would follow up and investigate his electrical fault as soon as possible, she said.

Residents should only use one channel to report faults to avoid delays caused by duplicate service requests, she said.