Disaster as Park Station is plunged into darkness
STAFF at Fish and Chips and Chicken Yase Kasi, a fast food restaurant at Johannesburg's Park station, spent most of yesterday "hanging around with nothing to do" due to a power outage at the station.
The biggest train station and long distance bus departure point for people travelling to other cities and neighbouring countries suffered an electricity blackout from lunch time on Wednesday. This hit many shop owners in the premises in the pockets.
Dudu Dlamini, the manager of Fish and Chips and Chicken Yase Kasi, said the prolonged outage struck at the worst of times.
"It is the end of the month. That is when I expect business to boom. Instead, we are hanging around because we have nothing to do," she said.
"The outage happened yesterday (Wednesday) during lunch when we expected a high number of people to flock in. People simply passed by and went to other places outside the station. I open from 7am to 10pm, but yesterday I was forced to send staff home at 7pm.
"There are people who have just reported for duty, I do not know whether to send them home or just wait and hope that power will be restored," Dlamini said.
On the ground level, which was even darker than the upper level, Jimmy Kallis, owner of Bon Voyage Superette, a general dealer, had lit candles and was waiting in hope. "The people you see here are not customers but staff. I have thrown away dairy products. Ice cream has turned into liquid. I will also throw away the sandwiches if electricity is not back today (yesterday)," he lamented.
The shop owners said they had been told since Wednesday that the power would be restored in two hours, but it had not yet happened by yesterday afternoon at about 5pm. The outage also affected thousands of train commuters on Wednesday, but the service resumed at about 5pm, though operating slowly. The trains ran about an hour behind schedule.
Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said the cause of the power failure was a faulty Eskom cable which supply theirs.
It caused disruptions in which the train service utility had to manually operate the trains by stationing operators on the point of signalling systems (traffic) lights.
Prasa's spokeswoman Killian Mofokeng said their technicians and Eskom's were still working on restoring the power yesterday.
But Eskom spokeswoman Hillary Joffe said the problem might be from the side of the Johannesburg City Power. - email@example.com