Eskom says no to claim by motorist

BOIKIE Ramokgadi is an angry man. He is livid because Eskom has refused to repair his car after a streetlight pole fell on it and damaged it.

BOIKIE Ramokgadi is an angry man. He is livid because Eskom has refused to repair his car after a streetlight pole fell on it and damaged it.

Ramokgadi said he was visiting a friend at Ntambo Street in Dube, Soweto, when the incident happened.

He said Eskom was aware that the lamppost had not been safe because it had been reported many times. Ramokgadi said the crooked pole fell on another electricity pole, which then fell on his car.

The damage is estimated at R18000.

Ramokgadi said residents of Ntambo Street told him that they had informed and complained to the local councillor and to Eskom's Klipspruit office about this lamppost from March 2007.

"Even an Eskom employee who came to inspect the damage told me that residents had informed them about the pole and that many houses would be affected if the pole was not fixed," he said.

Sowetan is in possession of an unsigned letter from a councillor in Ward 38 confirming that residents had continuously complained about Eskom's refusal to secure the pole.

Eskom repudiated Ramokgadi's claim. They told him that they could not be held liable for his loss because it was caused by an act of nature.

"It was their employees who put up that pole and not the act of nature," Ramokgadi said.

The letter of repudiation further stated that Eskom was unable to ensure a customer's property or consequential loss unless they were negligent.

"It is imperative that all electricity customers insure their property for this type of damage, as this was an international practice," the letter stated.

"How fair is that? When they had ignored the complaints of the residents?" Ramokgadi asked.

Itumeleng Libati of Eskom said they would rather deal with the aggrieved Ramokgadi than to comment on his accusations.

She later agreed to get comment from her superiors, but she had not done so at the time of going to press.

X