eMbalenhle locals without power for five days

Municipal technicians fix the substation. (Photo: Municipal Facebook page)

eMBALENHLE – Residents were not impressed with Govan Mbeki Municipality after they did not have electricity for five days consecutively after the substation exploded and caught fire on Wednesday, 3 October in Extension 5.

It is believed that it was caused by overloading.

The substation was repaired and the electricity was restored in the early hours of Monday, 8 October.

Locals took to social media to express their frustration regarding the matter.

During interviews the Ridge Times had with residents, they said they will humble the ANC in the upcoming elections.

Oppositions parties joined the residents and criticized the ANC led Council.

The Sakhisizwe Progressive Movement (Sapromo) have put the blame on Ms Thandi Ngxonono, executive mayor, and said she is incompetent.

“Sapromo is not happy about the condition of the substation, because this explosion might happen again because the main problem leading to constant power interruption in the area, has not been solved.

“The committee of council responsible for electricity migration from municipality to Eskom is not reporting as it was supposed to report, both to council and the community.

“If the municipality does not foresee the problems coming, then we might as well close shop because we do not have a municipality at all.

“We picked up as well that communication is dysfunctional in this council because the reports we found from the leadership, were not accurate and customer service line consultants were clueless.”

The party thanked the officials of Govan Mbeki Municipality and the service provider who worked around the clock to restore electricity in eMbalenhle.

The Democratic Alliance said although residents were extremely frustrated with the situation and the lack of information regarding restoration of power, this is nothing new in the area as they have been experiencing unplanned power cuts for months, since the electricity demand exceeds the notified maximum demand.

Ms Ciska Jordan, DA caucus leader, said in June the Govan Mbeki Council had adopted for Govan Mbeki to revoke its electricity license and hand over the function of electricity supply to Eskom.

“This followed suit to the address of the Mpumalanga Premier, Ms Refilwe Mtsweni, and the apparent advice of DD Mabuza former premier, that defaulting municipalities should take electricity back to Eskom.

“The DA has tabled a motion at a council meeting that was held in August, of which the intention was to expedite the process of handing over electricity to Eskom and to conclude it by the 31 December 2018.

“Although this motion was uncontested and said to be discussed at the Mayoral Committee, the DA has received no feedback to date on the implementation of this motion and public participation has not yet commenced.

“It appears that the ANC majority had merely approved this motion with no intention of implementing it.

“Prior to approval of the annual budget, the DA has raised at numerous meetings that the council is not compensating for electricity and water losses in the budget.

“Clearly this factor heavily influences the electricity crisis in eMbalenhle, as this problem is not one that is unforeseen.

“The council has been aware this problem for months, to which the municipality had put no measures in place in the budget despite the concerns constantly raised by the DA, by the community and the empty promises made by the Premier. “

She said recently, the council approved a project that would re-route electricity from the Bracken Mine to apparently compensate for the demand in eMbalenhle.

“If the council was adamant that electricity would return to Eskom, we question the approval of a R49 million project that is meant to only be a temporary solution.

“Although we are relieved that electricity has been restored, we are painfully aware that the people of eMbalenhle are tired of temporary solutions, turnaround strategies and empty promises that only add to their frustration.

“The apparent lack of commitment from the Govan Mbeki municipality to bring them a sustainable electricity supply while the R684 million Eskom bill continues to climb.

“This is a clear indication it is only a matter of time before the electricity crisis in eMbalenhle becomes one of the entire Govan Mbeki.

“The people of eMbalenhle deserve a caring DA led municipality that would keep the lights on.”

eMBALENHLE – The substation in eMbalenhle in Extension 5 has exploded.Firefighters are on the scene

Posted by Echo/Ridge Times Newspapers on Wednesday, 3 October 2018

eMBALENHLE – The substation in eMbalenhle in Extension 5 has exploded.Firefighters are on the scene

Posted by Echo/Ridge Times Newspapers on Wednesday, 3 October 2018

eMBALENHLE – The substation in eMbalenhle in Extension 5 has exploded.Firefighters are on the scene

Posted by Echo/Ridge Times Newspapers on Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Mr Benzi Soko, GMM chief of staff, speaking about the electricity crisis in eMbalenhle.

Posted by Echo/Ridge Times Newspapers on Thursday, 4 October 2018

Also read:

POWER: Council not updating locals about the electricity crisis in eMbalenhle

  AUTHOR
Sifiso Mathebula
Journalist

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