Covid-19 Exacerbates Old Electricity Struggle in South Africa

A 26-year struggle for electricity has erupted in the Doornkop shack settlement on the western outskirts of Soweto, resulting in skirmishes between residents and the police, writes Dennis Webster for New Frame. The settlement is home to mostly Sowetans but also migrants from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana. It has been without electricity for all of its 26 years of existence. The Covid-19 pandemic also imbued Doornkop's struggle for electricity with new difficulties, chief among them, according to Kelebogile Pogiso, 32, and Palesa Gwele, 25, was the new kind of schooling brought about by the outbreak. Their children's homework was sent on WhatsApp groups after the government closed schools during the lockdown. In this way, they said, the lack of electricity combined with Covid-19 deepens already entrenched educational disadvantages for children living in the settlement.

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Power lines (file photo).

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