...By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media.
Parts of KwaNobuhle township in Kariega are still without electricity, despite the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s assurance of power restoration earlier this week.
The ongoing blackout has caused frustration among residents, leading to an act of violence when the office of ANC ward councillor Lungile Langbooi was set on fire on Tuesday evening.
Cable Theft Suspected as Cause of Prolonged Power Outage
The power outage, affecting approximately 50,000 residents across six wards, has been attributed to cable theft.
The incident, which occurred on Friday, has left the affected areas in darkness and without essential services.
Mayor Retief Odendaal expressed suspicion that the recent wave of cable theft and vandalism was an act of sabotage, and he announced a reward of R20,000 for information leading to the arrest of the culprits.
Office Closure and Unresolved Case
The aftermath of the arson attack on councillor Lungile Langbooi’s office was evident on Wednesday morning, with the partially charred building closed.
The surrounding area was littered with burnt tires, debris, and rubble. While ANC staff and supporters gathered at the scene, no official case had been opened with the police as of yet.
Plight of Residents in the Dark
Residents of Peace Village, along with other affected areas such as Mabandla, Mgolodela, Mdledle, Rhayi, Nkulu, and parts of wards 44 and 46, continue to endure the darkness and its consequences.
Lwamila Tayi, a resident of Peace Village, expressed the dire situation, highlighting the closure of businesses, scarcity of essential supplies, and the loss of communication due to dead cellphones.
Repairs Underway, but Obstacles Remain
Ward 45 Councillor Sabelo Mabuda (ANC) confirmed that repair efforts were ongoing, but certain areas still awaited power restoration.
The affected locations include Peace Village, Mabandla, Mgolodela, Mdledle, Rhayi, Nkulu, and parts of wards 44 and 46.
Mabuda emphasized the communication efforts made through social media and other platforms to update residents on the repair progress.
Further Setback and Promised Action
Mayor Odendaal revealed a setback in the repair work, as another instance of cable theft occurred on the aerial bundle conductor, affecting wards 44, 46, and 47.
Despite the interruption caused by angry residents preventing access to the repair site, Mayor Odendaal assured the public that Mayco Member for Electricity and Energy, Lance Grootboom, would personally oversee the repair work in the affected areas.
Community Outrage Reflected in Images
Visual evidence of the unrest in Kariega was captured, showing charred debris left on Matanzima road and the torched office of councillor Lungile Langbooi.