Long-awaited project starts

2018-04-19 06:01
There’s joy in Pholile informal settlement and surrounding areas as contractors have started the project to electrify the area.PHOTO: velani ludidi

There’s joy in Pholile informal settlement and surrounding areas as contractors have started the project to electrify the area.PHOTO: velani ludidi

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Residents of Pholile informal settlement and surrounding areas are rejoicing after council’s electrification of the area recently started.

This is after the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and the City of Cape Town finally forged an agreement to electrify the area.

For more than a decade the area has been without electricity and residents were forced to make illegal connections.

These resulted in many shack fires, which claimed the lives of many locals.

Last year, a family lost five members in when mixed wiring led to the ignition of an inferno.

This year, two children have already died in separate incidents; one died after holding zinc sheeting that lay on top of an exposed wire and the other in a shack fire caused by live wires.

“Some people will never understand how special this is to us,” said an excited Nonceba Ndyalivane (40).

“We have buried more than 20 people here and in every prayer we never forget to mention that we want electricity. We even asked religious leaders always to pray for this area.”

The R4,5 million project of the City of Cape Town started last week.

Mayor Patricia de Lille was meant to visit the area to monitor the project’s progress, but was prevented to do so by residents protesting over a canal blockage.

“To this end, a team from the Transport and Urban Development Authority has been dispatched to Nomzamo to investigate and assess what work needs to be done,” De Lille said in a statement.

“The City is committed to ensuring concerns raised by residents are attended to immediately.”

Bongani Ngqulungqa, who lost a relative in a shack fire, said he will only celebrate when the first light is switched on.

“We were promised early this year that things would have started, but this project started late,” he said.

“I do not really trust the municipality anymore. I will only say I am happy when I see electricity in Pholile, but for now I am just waiting.”

Local councillor Jongidumo Maxheke said he called a meeting with residents last week. At the meeting, he informed them of the commencement of the project and, he said, resident are happy that they would finally receive electricity.

“I am happy that after the difficulties, the people are finally getting electricity,” he said.

“They are also happy that the project has started. This project is expected to be complete by June.”

Anda Ntsodo, Mayoral Committee member for Area East, said the project was delayed owing to discussions on the use of local sub-contractors. The matter has since been resolved.

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