SONA electricity promises not fulfilled

2015-05-29 06:00

CRIMINAL gangs are helping business and domestic sectors to avoid paying for power by “hot-wiring” supplies in the Alfred Nzo and OR Tambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

At a recent stakeholders dinner at Mount Currie Inn in Kokstad, Eskom GM Sifiso Pat Mazibuko spoke about Eskom’s business and said Alfred Nzo and OR Tambo areas are the main “recipients” of illegal connections.

“Another issue of concern is the building of new bulk infrastructure in rural areas takes priority to connections, costs to electrify are becoming steeper as we tackle deep rural, low density areas and the effects of the producer price inflation.

“We also have problems of access in certain villages impacting on electrification construction, municipalities having difficulty proclaiming areas that mushroom beyond the historical villages,” said Mazibuko.

They are faced with the challenge of communities refusing access to build the infrastructure projects especially the already electrified communities and some project are being stopped by communities, which delays progress, thus pushing back the completion date he said.

He said that environmental conditions such as snow, strong winds and heavy rain leads to poor quality of supply. He said they have a 45% backlog in Matatiele, Mbizana, Ntabankulu and Umzimvubu for electrification.

Their plans include electrifying Matatiele villages including Mangalong, Machaneng, Nobhaca, Manqobi, Sikhulumi, Mafayisa, Potlo, Mampotyi, Mhlotlo, Marhauleng, Sekhutlong, Pontseng and Qoboshiyane, at a cost of R47 698 879.

“President Jacob Zuma made many promises when he delivered the State of the Nation Address about electrification. This led to communities demanding electrification because they had heard president making promises,” said Phangwa.

She said the president’s SONA created havoc especially because of the promises he made, but failed to fulfil.

She said they are faced with a bad situation in Matatiele and Mt Ayliff as people are burning tyres demanding electrification

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