A KHAYELITSHA Animal Clinic says land occupiers have once again hampered the facility’s efforts to serve all Khayelitsha areas.
In the latest incident, Eskom employees came under attack from 10 men when responding to vandalised electric terminal box meters from the SA.MAST Animal Clinic recently.
Founder and director Tamsin Nel said the explosion of the terminal box was due to deliberate tampering, resulting in the clinic, surrounding houses and businesses being without electricity for nearly a week.
“Eskom arrived with two repair vehicles, one of which was set upon by approximately 10 men a few metres away from our clinic entrance.
“The driver, after being robbed of his work cellphone and attacked by the men, managed to free himself and fled the scene with the driver in the other repair vehicle,” said Nel.
The operators attempted to report the incident at the police station in Site B, but were advised that they had to go to the Lingelethu West police station instead, she said.
It was during this time that the attackers allegedly set alight the Eskom repair vehicle, which had been left behind after the attack took place. The torched vehicle was towed away later in the day.
“It has become common knowledge that Eskom electric terminals are being vandalised throughout Khayelitsha and that land invaders intend to continue to harass, attack and destroy anything that is Eskom-related.
“But while this war on Eskom takes place, many law-abiding residents, businesses and essential services are suffering the consequences and there does not appear to be any end in sight. Our clinic, hospital and shelter are heavily dependent on having a reliable source of electricity.
“From our X-ray machine, clinical and surgery equipment, heaters for our patients, security system and phone lines, everything is reliant on electrical power.”
The clinic survived the armed robbery in 2020 and installed an entry and exit security system.
“But then we also had to survive the land invasion surrounding our clinic and subsequent land invasion riots throughout Khayelitsha. Despite all these incredible odds, we have continued to help and save thousands of lives. But we cannot survive, not unless someone throws us and our cat and dog patients a lifeline,” Nel said.
Their attempts to relocate the clinic to a safe location as a matter of urgency was being frustrated by the usual mix of red tape, she said.
“We have been reliably informed that the green light to move our operations to an already identified, safe and available location in Khayelitsha will, in all likelihood, only be given towards the end of 2021 – despite the fact that our free mass animal sterilisation programme, clinic, hospital and outreach work fall in the essential services category,” said Nel.
Describing the situation as dire, the facility has appealed to the public to assist in raising R109 250 to purchase a generator that is powerful enough to run the facility.
To donate towards the purchase, visit www.samast.co.za or contact Nel on 084 778 1215 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org