UNWELCOME: Grey electricity boxes obstructing pavements in Bonteheuwel.

The community of Bonteheuwel is up in arms again over their “alien” poles.

While they are happy that the poles are being removed, they have slammed the City of Cape Town for replacing the “ETs” with ugly grey boxes in the middle of pavements.

The City said the poles were for the benefit of backyard dwellers on council-owned properties, who would be getting their power and water directly, instead of via landlords.

But residents were kwaad because they weren’t consulted about the project.

Some of the poles were planted right in front of their houses, and they also complained that holes dug in the pavement for the poles posed a danger to residents.

The Joint Peace Forum engaged the City on behalf of the community, requesting that the project be put on hold until mense could give their input.

Some people then chained themselves to the sub-council office gates and refused to budge until their voices were heard.

When Mayor Patricia de Lille explained the process to residents at a meeting in the civic centre, she was accused of swearing at the community, allegedly telling them “voetsek, julle stupids”.

Resident John Willemse, 78, accused the City of “creeping in” last month to replace the poles with boxes.

He says: “I just saw this ugly box in front of my house and saw the alien pole was gone. Nobody told us anything, but this is an obstruction. How must I walk on the kerb? I can’t also park my car in front of my house.”

Mayco Member for Utility Services, Ernest Sonnenberg, admits the alien poles were a mistake, but believes the krag boxes are an improvement.

He says: “Unfortunately, a number of poles were initially installed erroneously in front of private properties as well. This has been rectified in most cases.

“The City regrets the error and apologises for the inconvenience. The poles should not pose any danger to children or adults.”