Community’s 13-year wait for electricity continues

2013-04-03 00:00

FED-UP community members from Ntakama township in Ixopo yesterday took to the streets to protest against a 13- year delay in the electrification of their area.

They say the area was supposed to have been electrified in 1999 and 2000.

Their planned march through the town centre was derailed by the police who threatened strong action because the community did not have permission to march. The municipality had allegedly not signed a letter granting permission for the march. Instead, the community members had to proceed straight to the municipality to air their grievances.

“It’s been 13 years and we are still waiting,” said Sanele Xaba, one of the community members. “We were promised we would have electricity by 2000. I was still in school and now I am a grown man and nothing has happened.

“When we raise these concerns, they tell us that these matters are now in the pipeline for the 2014/15 year.”

Xaba questioned why the electrification process was only now being planned for the 2014/15 financial year, as it has been on the agenda for a long time.

He said electricity was not their only issue. “We have a problem with the roads, which are unusable.” He said the community was promised a clinic and a multipurpose centre which have not been built yet. “There are no sporting amenities; the only field in this area is on the top of a hill.”

Local councillor Banothile Thabethe said there are other areas that are also without electricity. He said the delays were largely due to the fact that they were a small municipality that relied on Eskom. “I know that there is something planned for the 2014/15 year.”

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