Swaziland — VELD fires continue to cause huge damage to property and over the weekend Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) customers experienced problems. People around Mbabane could not load electricity since the company telephone lines at the head office and stonage were down following a veld fire. They were burnt by unmonitored veld fires that came from Emvakwelitje. Customers could not buy electricity units in the designated outlets after the fire. Customers also could not access the telephone lines in order to lodge their complaints with the company. The problem lasted up until Sunday afternoon. The fire, which burnt down the telephone lines, is said to have been started by children who were playing with matches. The company had to give an alternative number to customers who were experiencing problems with loading electricity. An announcement was run on national radio the whole day on Sunday. SEC Corporate Affairs Manager Sifiso Dhlamini confirmed that they experienced a problem after their telephone lines were affected by veld fires. He said the problem was finally resolved on Sunday after lunch at around 3pm after the outage started on Saturday afternoon. He said it was only the Mbabane depot that was affected as the lines damaged were those at the head office and surrounding offices. Dhlamini said the prepaid electricity system was largely affected because it relied on telephone lines. We can only ask again that people should stop starting veld fires unnecessarily because it is the public that ends up being affected, he said. He said SEC has suffered huge losses because of veld fires.