Does govt like seeing us suffer, die - protester

2015-11-11 21:57
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Cape Town - A group of residents from the Los Angeles informal settlement near Mfuleni in Cape Town, barricaded roads with burning tyres earlier on Wednesday in protest against a lack of electricity in the area.

Community leader Thabo Mithi told News24 that residents have had no electricity for several years, and that many have had to resort to using illegal connections.

He said an illegal connection recently killed a man in the area.

"His place had water, and he was electrocuted. He left behind a wife and kids," he said.

"We have raised our voices previously and nothing has happened. This is the only way to let people know what is happening here - who is going to be the next one who dies?

"Does government enjoy seeing us suffering and dying? As South African citizens, and even as human beings, don't we deserve access to electricity?"

The City of Cape Town confirmed that the protesters had barricaded roads in the area.

Acting Cape Town mayoral committee member for human settlements JP Smith said the protesters had blocked part of the N2 highway earlier in the morning, but the road was cleared quickly.

Smith said the city was making an effort to improve the lives of residents living in the Los Angeles informal settlement. He said as part of a process to upgrade the informal settlement, the city entered discussions with Eskom to electrify Los Angeles, as this is an Eskom supply area.

“As such, the planning and details of the electrification of Los Angeles rests with Eskom,” said Smith.  

Eskom confirmed that the Los Angeles informal settlement would be electrified in the next financial year.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said: “We had a number of meetings with the community leaders, councillors and the community itself to discuss these matters.”

Phasiwe said last month Eskom had a public meeting in Los Angeles answering questions.  

“There is a proposed meeting between Eskom and the city for further discussions. Continued communication between all parties concerned will assist in finding a resolution to the matter,” he said.

Read more on:    eskom  |  cape town  |  service delivery  |  protests  |  local government

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