The residents of the northern parts of the mining and tourist town of Phalaborwa have once again been plunged into darkness. It seems that their problems are far from being resolved. On 25 December 2020, it was reported that the residents were forced to spend Christmas without electricity. At that time they spent more than five days without any electricity in simmering heat. The problem has resurfaced again and the residents have taken to social media to vent their frustrations. The electricity went off just after 5pm when darkness was approaching.
It appears that the municipality has been notified and standby teams have located the problem. The teams are working on resolving the problem. There is no estimated time for the return of power. The residents now dread a repeat of what they experienced during Christmas of 2020 when they also had to go without electricity and water. Jaco Gericke, a community leader, kept the residents updated with developments from the repair teams and the last information he provided was that the repair teams would require a TLB as the damaged cable was burried underground and they could only proceed the next day.
What compounds the difficulty for the residents is that they live very close to the Kruger National Park, which is an international wildlife sanctuary, and when night sets in hippos and other wildlife share the streets with the residents. Those who have to walk or even drive at night often find themselves face to face with some of these wildlife. Residents are well-advised to remain indoors to avoid such encounters.
Residents have blamed the aging infrastructure and cable thefts as the source of their problems and have blamed the municipality for not doing enough to resolve the problem which causes them heavy losses every time it occurs.