Stephen Selaluke
2 minute read
15 Mar 2021
11:18 am

Living next to a power station for five years… with no electricity

Stephen Selaluke

Zakharia Mashishi, 69, a pensioner, said he was happy to finally move into his new RDP house. He moved in with all his electric appliances thinking he will use then.

Nthabiseng Ledwaba

Even though they live right next to a local power substation, some residents in Nellmapius extension 24, Pretoria, say they have been without electricity for five years now.

The residents were excited back in 2015 when the Tshwane metro handed them their RDP houses, but they have been waiting for electricity ever since then.

Resident Johannes Kokela said it was disappointing because their houses were not far from a local substation.

“The substation is supposed to supply the area with electricity but instead the metro decides to install electricity cables to residents of Spook Park also in extension 24, an area which area only started in 2018,” said Kokela.

He said it was so sad because about 40% of the RDP beneficiaries are people living with various disabilities.

“Every day it’s a struggle here without electricity because we have to cook with paraffin stoves and sometimes make firewood to cook for our children,” said Kokela.

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Patricia Malungane, 38, said they are approaching winter and it is going to be freezing cold without electricity.

“Nobody cares about us, even our ward councillor does not care about us,” said Malungane.

“Just last year, four houses here in Nellmapius burnt down to ashes because of unattended candle lights,” she added.

“We are struggling with our children’s schoolwork because they receive assignments via a WhatsApp group created by their school.”

She added due to Covid-19 rules and regulations they had to work from home using laptops, but it was hard and sometimes impossible to work “because we don’t have any electricity”.

Zakharia Mashishi, 69, a pensioner, said he was happy to finally move into his new RDP house. He moved in with all his electric appliances thinking he will use then.

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However, it has been almost five years waiting for electricity.

Kokela further said handing over a memorandum of grievances to the Tshwane house on 10 February did not help.

He said they handed the memorandum to the metro since it failed to start installing electricity in the area as promised at the beginning of February.

“We gave Tshwane metro 14 working days to respond and there has been no answer.”

Kokela added on Monday a follow-up on the memorandum was done but still no answer.

Residents are planning a strike should no one come and address them about the issue.

The Tshwane metro had yet to comment by the time of publication.

This article was republished from Rekord with permission 

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