Copesville electricity roll out in progress

2013-02-11 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality yesterday officially launched the roll out plan to electrify Ezinketheni informal settlement in Copesville.

Digging of trenches for electric cables is in progress, and yesterday Mayor Chris Ndlela and other officials attended a sod-turning event in the area.

Illegal electricity connections by informal settlement residents cost the municipality R90 million a year, according to the Auditor-General’s report for the 2011/12 financial year.

This led to the approval of plans by the Executive Council last year to electrify all informal settlements around the city, with a budget of R22,3 million set aside for the project.

Damaged electricity infrastructure due to illegal connections will also be catered for in the budget.

Other areas will be covered in due course.

Ndlela told community members to police the area to curb illegal connections once electricity had been installed.

Ndlela said: “This is a big day to all of us.

“I know you felt like you had been left out for many years, but today we are here to ensure that the electrification project is implemented.”

About 800 households in the area are likely to benefit from the installation of electricity.

Ndlela pleaded with other informal settlements around Pietermaritzburg to be patient and wait for their turn to get electricity installed.

Ifalakhe Electrical Services has already been appointed to do the work.

Municipal head of electricity, Sabatha Nomnganga said it would cost residents R724 to apply for prepaid meters, but in the event of one of the residents relocating, the municipality gives that person a R500 refund.

Community member Eunice Mncube said she had been living in the area for the past 18 years and she was very happy that finally they would have electricity.

“Our people and cattle have died due to illegal connections, but now this will be a thing of the past,” Mncube said.

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