■ Jeff Jackson
Kilns at one private sawmill have been at a standstill for eight days. This is affecting 60 families. These sawmills are running at a R56, 000 loss per day. The electricity issues in the Haenertsburg area are going from worse to worst.
The slightest wind, the slightest spit of rain and the power goes off. Sometimes the power goes off for no provisional reason whatsoever. “All very well screaming for the need for generators. They are costly to purchase, costly to run and costly to service,” said one resident.
Adding to the woes of the area, Vodacom cellular service has been out of action for more than eight days too. Without power, without cell phone reception, without water on the farms, frustration levels have reached an all time high.
“It was suggested that the community invade the GTM offices to enforce solutions. Will this help resolve the electricity issues? Doubtful. What is the solution? GTM officials are never available and when meetings are scheduled, they seldom honour them,” said another frustrated resident.
To add insult to injury some consumers are presented with exorbitant monthly bills of R25, 000. It’s now been suggested that home owners take photographs of their meter readings on the 24th of every month to prove the household consumption. The official announcement that the electricity problems in the country will worsen over the winter period was not met with anything but anger and frustration.