Some Shayamoya residents still ‘in the dark’

2017-11-24 06:00
Shayamoya resident Gloria Qwathi has to use candles for light.PHOTO: siphelele nketo

Shayamoya resident Gloria Qwathi has to use candles for light.PHOTO: siphelele nketo

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FOR the past 11 months a
Shayamoya resident, Gloria Qwathi, has struggled without electricity after Greater Kokstad Municipality switched it off because she has not paid her municipal rates.

The woman, who lives in an RDP house, said she owes R9 000 for rates, but can’t afford to pay it because she is only a shop cleaner.

In November 2016, Fever published a story about GKM, which switched off the electricity supply in many households because of their non-payment of municipal rates.

However, after talks between residents and the municipality power was switched back on for some, although others remain “in the dark”.

Qwathi uses candles at night and paraffin stoves to cook on and told Fever she earns R2 700 a month, which she uses to buy food and other necessary items, and it’s not enough to pay municipal rates as well.

“Every month I send some money to my two children who are studying at a tertiary institution.

“The municipality switched off my electricity in January, and even after speaking to the ward councillor and the municipality about switching it back on, I was not helped,” said Qwathi.

Last month, the municipality went on a campaign to collect revenue from residents and businesses who owed the municipality money and warned them that their electricity would be switched off if they failed to pay.

Municipal spokesperson Nomzekelo Selani said the municipality gives free electricity to households whose income is less than R3 000 a month and who can’t afford to pay rates.

“People who have applied for free municipal services are not charged rates and the municipality also gives free services to child-headed families.

“To apply for free municipal services, people must provide proof of income and particulars of those living in the house,” said Selani.

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