By Sibongile Khumalo for News24
The torrential rains that have battered parts of KwaZulu-Natal since Saturday have shut down 500 MTN network sites in the region, the cellphone company said on Tuesday.
“The flooding in the KZN region has caused power outages at many of our sites, and while we have battery back-up at many of the sites, these batteries have been depleted,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, MTN SA’s spokesperson.
According to the country’s second-largest cellular network provider, some of the areas impacted by the outage at this stage include Durban South, South Coast, Umlazi, Amanzimtoti, Ballito, and Salt Rock.
Technicians are working to restore connectivity in the affected areas.
Mayor of eThekwini Mxolisi Kaunda has told media that the flooding had resulted in damage to roads and had knocked out electricity supply to several parts of the city. Several water supply lines have also been affected.
Several regions across the country have been hit by heavy rains since last weekend.
Meanwhile Vodacom spokesperson, Byron Kennedy, said over 400 network towers of the company from the north to the south coast of Durban have been impacted due to disruptions to electricity supply. He said areas from Ballito to Amanzimtoti, in the south, “are currently experiencing intermittent mobile services”.
Some fibre infrastructure is also affected due to water-logged fibre ducts.
Kennedy said efforts to restore sites were being hampered by severe damage to roads and certain facilities not being accessible due to the risk of electrical shocks.
Provincial disaster management teams have revealed that over 45 people have lost their lives as a result of the heavy rains, according to a statement issued by the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sipho Hlomuka.