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Plumtree goes for a month without electricity

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

Zesa has restored electricity supplies in Plumtree ending a month-long blackout that also saw the border town running dry.

The electricity crisis was blamed on a damaged transformer and theft of copper cables between Bulawayo and Figtree.

Zesa replaced the copper cables with aluminium ones to curb the thefts. Power was restored last Sunday.

Plumtree Town Council also immediately started pumping water and brought relief to hundreds of residents that were now relying on unsafe sources of water.

Fanisani Dube, the council chairman, said the restoration of electricity supplies came as a relief to residents and businesses.

“Electricity was restored on Sunday after a period of a month, which had also affected the water service delivery,” he said.

“Residents had to go for that period without both electricity and water, which had become a huge burden to council. It’s really a relief for the town.”

Dube, who runs an upmarket eatery in the border town, said businesses suffered huge losses due to the prolonged power cuts.

“All businesses had to buy fuel for generators to run their operations, a situation which was unforeseen and unbudgeted for,” he said.

“Those who had perishables lost them. It was a huge loss for businesses.”

Zesa has lost millions of dollars due to theft of copper cables, which are sold on the black market in South Africa. Locally, the cables are used to manufacture coffin handles.

Plumtree Combined Residents and Development Association chairperson Richard Khumalo said people with boreholes took advantage of the power cuts to milk residents of money as they sold
the scarce commodity.

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