Protesters block busy Kariega road amid five-day power outage

Nelson Mandela Bay councillor says many homes were plunged into dark after an explosion at the Mabandla substation

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Community members from ward 45 in Kariega protested on Thursday morning to demand that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality restore electricity to their homes. Power has been off since Saturday following an explosion at a nearby substation. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

Chaos erupted on Bantom Road in Kariega’s ward 45 as more than 200 people protested, demanding electricity be restored to their homes.

According to protesters, they have been without power since Saturday when a transformer which supplies the community exploded. They were angry that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality had not communicated when their power would be restored.

On Thursday morning, traffic had to be diverted as protesters, including young children, blocked the road by burning tyres and other rubble.

“Not a single word from the municipality on why our areas are still without electricity. Our food is rotten in refrigerators and children can’t go to school,” said resident Zola Fanayo.

Another resident Lungeka Williams said the Mabandla clinic had been turning patients away because it does not have electricity or water.

Ward 45 Councillor Sabelo Mabuda confirmed that the transformer exploded. “There have been several transformers that exploded after an explosion and subsequent fire at the Mabandla substation.

“When workers are repairing exploded transformers, they keep on exploding,” he said. He did not say what had caused the initial explosion at the power station.

Mayor Gary van Niekerk, in a statement at the weekend, listed several areas which were affected by the electricity outage. He said the power outages had made water systems at the Nooitgedacht Water Treatment Works and in Motherwell “unstable and critical”.

TOPICS:  Electricity

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