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Pimville residents chase away Eskom

Ward 22 residents in Pimville chased away Eskom's representative in their meeting saying that the meeting will not continue without their ward councillor.

Electricity utility, Eskom’s customer relations Officers Duncan Motebele and Samuel Mohlala were turned away by residents of Pimville, in Ward 22 in a community meeting that took place at Pimville Primary School on Sunday, April 8.

They had been sent by Eskom to do a split metering presentation. The residents’ main grievances were:

• The ward councillor, Lizzy Mabaso did not attend the meeting

• They demanded answers regarding the agreement of the installation of prepaid meters without their consent

• They do not want the presentation of split metering, they need a way forward, regarding the fact that they do not approve of prepaid electricity.

Eskom’s representatives were chased away before they could even start with their presentation.

“We are not here for a course, we are here for answers,” said one of the residents. This is the comment that precipitated the drama.

“Eskom is not our community representative, we need Mabaso to come and give us answers. Eskom is here for business; they won’t even show any compassion about this issue.

We are the victims here; these people are here to manipulate us into agreeing with the installation of prepaid meters,” said Mncedisi Dilata, a community member.

Residents requested that Eskom leaves because they won’t proceed without Mabaso being present.

Another community member Sense Mathebula said that there is a confusion, he explained that Eskom was called by them to go and explain to them about the whole process, Lizzy did not call them, he said that Eskom might have something very informative to share with the community.

The majority of residents did not support the meeting. Some residents claimed that they do not know Mabaso and they have never seen her because she does not attend any of the community meetings.

“We want a way forward, not this presentation. Where is Mabaso? She must come and explain to us, who agreed with Eskom about the prepaid meters.

“If Mabaso does not come, we shall not proceed,” said Thabo Mametse, a community member.

The prepaid electricity issue is not only in Pimville but nationally it has been giving people sleepless nights.

“This is a national issue, Eskom is not responsible for the initiation of prepaid meters, our government is. Eskom was sent by the government to come and install these meters, therefore this issue should be dealt with nationally, not regionally,” said Skhumbuso Nkosi, a community member.

The PR Councillor Thamsanqa Mabhena explained that they went to Eskom to enquire about this issue and asked for evidence of the agreement between them and the community regarding these meters, and they failed to provide it.

He said that Eskom being at the meeting should have been a follow-up to discuss the way forward with the community. He said that some residents are unemployed and won’t be able to pay for this prepaid electricity.

Trevor Ngwane said that everyone has the basic right to electricity and that they want free electricity.

“Chiawelo residents also encountered the same problem and unfortunately, Eskom did it anyway, some parts of Chiawelo has working prepaid meters. We do not want to be like them, we, therefore, need to do our best to fight this,” said Ngwane.

“We are going to attack any Eskom technician that attempts to continue with the process and we shall remain united,’’ he said.“This is all the African National Congress (ANC)’s fault, ZUMA MUST FALL! He is part of the prepaid meters. ANC is a government of capitalists,” he concludes.

“In 2014, I called so many meetings, with Eskom and the community regarding this issue. The community has been addressed about prepaid meters.

“I think the problem came with Eskom’s delay to install these meters, from 2014, they are only coming now. The reason why I thought these meters would be advantageous to the community, is because some residents ‘electricity was being cut off and they were left with no electricity, so prepaid meters will allow them to buy their own electricity,” said Lizzy Mabaso, the ward councillor.

She also said that she did not receive an invitation for the Sunday meeting. The meeting postponed to another day and the date should be confirmed soon.

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