Residents feel the pain of union strike in BCM
Damaged traffic departments in Wilsonia and Braelyn have been shut
There are no traffic services offered in East London because all traffic departments servicing the Buffalo City Metro are closed as a result of the illegal Samwu strike.
Two venues – Wilsonia and Braelyn – were set alight while the Gonubie licensing venue was closed due to threats and intimidation of its workers. This was confirmed by Buffalo City Metro mayoral spokesperson Luzuko Buku.
Buku said the Braelyn and Wilsonia traffic departments would remain shut until a full assessment of damages had been completed while the Gonubie department would reopen once security services had been deployed.
Last week municipal spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya told the Daily Dispatch that the city managers had been forced to approach the court seeking an interdict to protect non-striking employees.
Ngwenya said workers who legitimately reported for duty were harassed, intimidated and threatened by Samwu strikers.
Buku said the electrical wiring and computers had been destroyed when the Wilsonia and Braelyn offices were set alight.
“We are working to reopen the traffic services in Gonubie after we have finalised providing security to our staff. An announcement in this regard will be made.”
Buku said three substations had been torched in East London and four substations, one ring main unit and nine electrical cubicles were set on fire in King William’s Town.
“In East London we have already replaced one [substation] and we are in the process of replacing the second one. The third one has been repaired and returned to service. We have also replaced five electrical cubicles which were damaged.”
About repairs in King William’s Town Buku said: “We will soon be moving to repair the work inland. Some electrical poles have been damaged but have been repaired. The strike has also affected our response to electrical faults and for this we apologise. We are working on optimising this service in the next week.”
Meanwhile residents in East London who stocked up their fridges with Black Friday specials for Christmas, are likely to face a black Christmas with their recent purchases having gone off. Some residents who have been living without power for six days, have decided to migrate their children to relatives living in other towns.
Quigney resident Vuyokazi Mnqgabe, 45, said she decided to send her four-year-old daughter to her grandparents in Makhanda. “I cannot subject my child to washing in cold water as I have been doing. She is still young. That is why I sent her away.”
Namhla Jama, 34, also from Quigney, said all the meat and other perishable products she had to throw away were now rotting in bags, uncollected in front of her house.
Piles of maggot-infested, stinking rubbish lie in front of Jama’s Tennyson Street home.
Small businesses owners, the backbone of the city’s economy, reported substantial revenue losses.
Friesland Ice Cream factory owner Kishore Cassiram, 69, said the business had been hard hit by the electricity outage and had to discard over 1,000 litres of ice cream.
There was traffic mayhem on Thursday and Friday due to the closure of the busy Fitzpatrick Road for the repair of the substation situated in front of City Life church...