GEORGE NEWS - The George Home Affairs office has been using a generator since Thursday last week to keep its services going after the landlord allegedly failed to pay the electricity bill.
Home Affairs national spokesperson David Hlabane said the landlord is responsible for the payment of the account, not the Department of Home Affairs. "We have taken up this matter with the landlord as it affects our operations. The landlord has assured us that the matter is receiving attention.
"The generator is a temporary measure until the landlord sorts out the electricity bill. We are running on a generator to ensure citizens and clients are not inconvenienced and continue receiving services."
When asked who the landlord is, Hlabane referred the newspaper to the Public Works Department. A response regarding the identity of the landlord is being awaited from them.
Leon Wallace, acting CFO of George Municipality, confirmed the power cut and said the building is owned by a trust that is the municipality's client. "The municipality is currently in discussions with the stakeholders to find a suitable solution to switch the power on," he said.
Noise at the back of the Home Affairs building, where the generator is kept in the department's storage garages, has been making it difficult for employees of some of the surrounding businesses to work. The diesel fumes also elicited complaints.
"It is impossible to work or even talk on the phone. We can't hear anything that the person on the other end of the line is saying. It's difficult to concentrate and we are inhaling unhealthy fumes," said one of the unhappy complainants, who wished to remain anonymous.
Another commented, "It's fine when the generator runs for a few hours during load shedding, but this constant noise is unacceptable. What about the cost to the taxpayer? Diesel is more expensive than electricity."
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