West Cape News (Cape Town)

30 May 2012

South Africa: Khayelitsha Informal Residents to Get Electricity

Electricity is finally to be laid on to Khayelitsha's Nkanini informal settlement said Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille at a meeting attended by about 1 000 residents on Sunday.

Under a marquee constructed on open land next to the settlement, de Lille announced that R5 million had been put aside by the city in order to pay Eskom to electrify the area.

The electrification project would also bring employment to about 30 residents who, as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) would start working on the enumeration plan and survey processes.

For years the area has depended on illegal connections to get power, with many homes connecting to the railway lines to get electricity.

De Lille said money was being transferred from the City to Eskom in a number of phases and the announcement had been made at a full council meeting, with representatives of the community present.

She admitted that there had been a delay in beginning the first phase of electrification that was supposed to start on April 1.

The reason being was that Eskom delayed in sending the city an invoice necessary for payment to be released, and then neglected to inform the City that their banking details had changed.

Eskom Province manager Joe van de Westhuizen said the first phase of electrification would now start on June 28 and would take a year to complete.

However, not all residents were happy with the City's explanations over the delay.

Residents' Committee member Amos Bango said every time they had a meeting with the mayor dates were changed.

"On April 1 we had a meeting with the mayor and the City of Cape Town and they said the project will start on the first of June, but now they said 28 June and that might also change." he said.

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