Lights cannot go on just yet

2018-07-19 06:01
Three informal settlements in Lwandle and Nomzamo are still without electricity and use illegal means to power their shacks.PHOTO: velani ludidi

Three informal settlements in Lwandle and Nomzamo are still without electricity and use illegal means to power their shacks.PHOTO: velani ludidi

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The three informal settlements of Lwandle and Nomzamo benefitting from council’s electrification project will have to wait a little longer.

The project started two months ago and was meant to be completed by the end of June. But not everyone is able to switch on the lights just yet.

The completion date has been set for August.

The City of Cape Town cited issues with the contractor as the reason for the delay, but residents are placing the blame on the ongoing battle between mayor Patricia de Lille and the DA.

“I knew that the deadline would not be met,” said resident Siyamcela Nokoja.

“It was too good to be true. The mayor just wanted our support to fight her factional battles.”

Nokhanyo Nokwe believes electricity will not be installed this year. “Mark my words, there will be no electricity here,” she warned.

“We will continue using candles, while others continue their illegal connections until 2019. We are led by corrupt officials, who value money over people’s lives.”

Residents of the informal settlements supported De Lille in her battle with the party at court. City Vision also reported on her visit to the township and her promise to revisit the area in June (“De Lille’s promise to Nomzamo”, 24 May).

City Vision sent a list questions to the De Lille’s office to enquire about the project’s delay, but the questions were instead answered Mayoral Committee member for Area East, Anda Ntsodo.

He confirmed that there were some issues that led to the delays. “There is a contractor in the area who is working to a schedule,” Ntsodo explained.

“Unfortunately, due to delays experienced, the projected deadline has moved from the end of June to August. The contractor in question has gone into business rescue due to issues with its tax clearance certificate.

“A purchase order has been raised to undertake the work so it can proceed. It can be paid only once they sort out their tax issues.”

Ntsodo further said his office has been in communication with community leaders and ward councillors to brief them on the delays.

“The mayor indicated at a public meeting that she plans to return to the area to have further engagement with the residents,” Ntsodo relayed.

“She will confirm a date with ward councillors and community leaders in due course.”

More than 10 residents have died in over the past year, owing to electricity-related fires in the area. Two children died after being electrocuted by live wires in the informal settlement.

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