Community known for illegal power connections to finally get formal electricity

2017-02-01 07:27

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WATCH: 5 facts about illegal power connections

2016-04-13 17:36

Here are five things you need to know about illegal connections.WATCH

Mbombela - A community plagued by illegal power connections and resulting deaths will finally receive an electricity makeover.

Many have lost their lives through illegal electricity connections in Msholozi near Mbombela in Mpumalanga.

This was announced on Saturday by Ward 14 councillor Kenneth Mkhonto.

Mkhonto said: "We have applied for electrification of 3 000 households at the department of energy in Msholozi. We were granted R10m which is to be shared with Mjindi Local Municipality, and Mbombela will receive R6m of the R10m."

Illegal connections are rife in the area and exposed cables are a common sight with a high number of cases where children are reported electrocuted, particularly during the rainy season.

Resident Mcobi Malinga said: "I lost my nephew through these illegal connections, and the government has been doing nothing to help overcome this issue."

Malinga said he was now very grateful to know that legal connections were in the pipeline.

"We will now be able to sleep at night knowing our children are safe - even when coming and going to school in rainy weather."

Local companies to have advantage

A focus of this project will also be to create job opportunities around Msholozi.

Fifteen people have already been employed in the first phase and contractors have been appointed.

Local subcontracting companies will be given an advantage during the second phase.

Mkhonto advised local companies to check tender requirements for opportunities.

He said the tender process for a larger reservoir set for delivery next month was at an advanced stage.

Mbombela Local Municipality spokesperson Joseph Ngala confirmed the information presented by Mkhonto to the community.

However, the area still belongs to the national Department of Public Works.

The Mbombela Local Municipality is engaging with the department to transfer the land in order to formalise the settlement.

This follows land invasions that began in 2008.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  service delivery  |  electricity

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