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No light shed on electricity crisis in Mbombela

Mbombela residents expected to receive feedback on the ongoing electricity issues after a community crisis meeting held in May 2022. However, they have not received any answers yet, and a recently organised feedback meeting was cancelled.

Residents of the City of Mbombela are not likely to get any feedback about the lagging electricity crisis from the mayor or senior management of the council.

This came to light when questions were raised to the municipality about the feedback meeting that was promised during a community crisis meeting held in May 2022.

Sibongile Makushe-Mazibuko, the mayor, said, “Councillors are by law supposed to report back to communities, not necessarily us.” She took a sideswipe at these councillors by saying they were not doing their jobs. “[Now] we are expected to do their job for them or even have you as the media doing their bidding.

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“After the meeting [of May 2022] we met with the councillors and stakeholders, and they were supposed to brief the community.”

She said after the meeting, a master plan to resolve the threatening grid collapse was presented to the councillors and representatives for the community.
“Some, who were ‘engineers’, came with the Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism.”

Makushe-Mazibuko said the master plan was discussed and handed over to the stakeholders. “They [even] agreed with our plan,” she said.

A meeting with the residents of West Acres, who are currently suffering severely with load-shedding and unexpected power cuts, was arranged for November 30.

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Dan Mkhatshwa, a member of the mayoral committee (MMC) responsible for technical services, would have informed the community about the grid crisis, but he cancelled on short notice.

“If the MMC has committed to meeting the community on behalf of ward councillors, I will check with him to find out when he plans to do that,” Makushe-Mazibuko said.

Lowvelder’s questions to Mkhatshwa had gone unanswered at the time of publishing.

Joseph Ngala, the municipality’s spokesperson, had not responded to media queries by then, either.

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