Who will pay for my spoiled food?

Rafiqa Booley, Salt River

I am forwarding the complaint on behalf of my parents and family. We had no power for 15 hours on Thursday June 3 because a transformer was broken. Numerous calls and complaints were made from the residents of Salt River affected by this.

Our ward councillor, Paddy Chapple, was contacted by various people in the community, and we are still waiting for a response from him two days later. As usual, no ward councillor was available. He is a disgrace to the community.

After the power was off for so long, the food we have in our freezers is doubtful because it defrosted, and you cannot refreeze defrosted foods.

Who will compensate those of us with spoiled foods and for the inconvenience? I will send my grocery bill for compensation.

It is unbelievable that we have to beg for services and then wait 15 hours with no electricity

Phindile Maxiti, mayoral committee member for energy and climate change, responds: The City of Cape Town’s electricity generation and distribution department sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused while emergency repair work to infrastructure was completed in Salt River on Thursday June 3. The City’s average turnaround time for transformer and cabling faults is approximately two to three hours, but due to the magnitude of this particular fault, the electricity restoration time was delayed. Our staff were also attending to emergency electricity infrastructure repairs caused by vandalism in the Epping area which had to be completed due to a large number of customers being without electricity.

The City tries its best to inform residents about planned maintenance, electricity faults in areas as well as about Eskom’s load shedding schedule in a timely manner, so that residents are made aware of these as quickly as possible. We thank our residents for their support and understanding.

The public can SMS 31220 o email power@capetown.gov.za to report outages.

Ian Neilson, mayoral committee member for finance, responds:

Residents may submit a claim application to the City’s insurance claims section for compensation if there is material proof of the losses suffered. Evidence in the form of photographs depicting the refrigerator contents and discarded food items or store receipts in respect of food purchases made prior to the day of the incident must be provided with the claim.

Each claim is assessed on its own merit, which includes an assessment of whether there has been any negligence or omission on the City’s side. Once the City has received the resident’s claim form or formal correspondence, a reference number will be provided for all future liaison.

Visit the City’s website for a claim form and more information.

Ward councillor Patrick Chapple responds: The transformer blew, which, in turn, damaged an underground cable. Electricity worked tirelessly throughout the night to locate the underground problem and repair the fault. The power was restored at 4am. The electricity outage was not planned or scheduled. I want to thank the electricity department.