Vaalpark suburb without power for 10 days

Vandalism of substation blamed

By Becker Semela

22 November 2023

Repairs started ten days after a substation went down in Naledi, Vaalpark. Photo supplied

More than 40 businesses and 20 households in the suburb of Naledi in Vaalpark have been without electricity for the past ten days.

Residents say Metsimaholo Local Municipality in the Free State has left them in the dark, while promising them every day that the power will be restored the following day.

Veronica de Andrade, who owns a fast food outlet, said, “All the food in the fridges was rotten except the cold drink, which I am selling warm to a few customers.” She estimates her business has lost about R20,000 so far.

Mannete Mokoena, who sells vetkoek, said she waited four days without sales before buying a paraffin stove.

“We were told by the municipal officials that the electricity will ‘be back tomorrow’,” she said.

“The paraffin stove cooks very slowly,” said Mokoena.

Councillor Linda Day (DA) said the power outage was caused by a cable and switchgear fault.

Municipality spokesperson Gino Alberts said the mini-substation was vandalised, causing the power outage.

He said a contractor was on site to do repairs, but they were unsure how much damage had been caused and how long it would take to restore power.

Alberts said residents had been informed and “we will ensure that they all get the information via local media”.