The Democratic Alliance (DA) in eThekwini has written to the Head of Electricity, Maxwell Mthembu, requesting him to urgently intervene in the ongoing chaos at the Durban electricity call centre.
This department is so dysfunctional that it takes hours for just one call to be attended to. In the last two weeks many areas in eThekwini have been experiencing ongoing electricity cuts and to add to their frustration, the city has a totally mute call centre.
Electricity is an essential service and standard in a well-run municipality. Issues should be attended to with a swift response but in a collapsing eThekwini, just like all other things that are not functioning, is not the case. We are calling for an urgent involvement by the officials on this matter.
Areas such as Glenwood, eMolweni, KwaMashu Hostel, uMzinyathi, Nanda Mission, Folweni and Part of Hammarsdale to name a few, have been experiencing this inconvenience.
Last year the DA embarked on oversight inspection at the call centre.
After our visit, these are the suggestions we made to salvage this dire situation:
1) Make changes on the shifts.
2) Get a business WhatsApp to enable the WhatsApp reporting to be more organised;
3) Swift response to community members through SMSes to avoid people having to repeatedly call back for more information;
4) Increase the staff per shift.
5) Request monthly reports on dropped calls and waiting time averages, to ensure oversight and accountability.
Despite repeatedly requesting that these proposals be formally tabled at the Executive Committee since October, City leadership has failed to do so or take any steps to address the problem.
It is a disgrace that eThekwini continues to treat its residents like this. The DA will continue fighting for improved services and good governance in the city.