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Eskom finally sees the light on dark street lights

During a meeting of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on Friday 31 July, Eskom CEO André de Ruyter personally undertook to solve the long-standing problem of broken Eskom-controlled street lights in the Stellenbosch municipal area “as soon as possible.”

This comes after the DA’s constituency head for Stellenbosch Municipality, Dr Leon Schreiber, submitted a petition by the community of Jamestown and Mountain View to the National Assembly on 20 February, demanding that Eskom expedite the process of transferring control of street-light infrastructure to the DA-led Stellenbosch Municipality.

Residents of Jamestown and Mountain View – as well as Kylemore, Wemmershoek/La Motte and parts of Klapmuts – have long suffered as Eskom failed to quickly repair broken street lights in these areas. The continuous problems with lighting expose residents to crime and render the streets unsafe at night. In a proactive step to solve the problem, Stellenbosch Municipality requested Eskom, on 13 February 2019, transfer control of all 1 000 street lights still under Eskom’s management to the municipality, so the DA-led municipality could fix the problem once and for all.

“However, despite agreeing to transfer control to the municipality, Eskom has been dragging its feet for more than 18 months,” said DA provincial spokesperson, Melt Botes. “In response to Eskom’s tardiness, the residents of Jamestown and Mountain View, led by DA councillors Rikus Badenhorst and Manie Pietersen, drew up a petition containing hundreds of signatures to present to the National Assembly, which Schreiber submitted on 20 February.

During Friday’s meeting members of Parliament expressed concern at the delays. In response, De Ruyter acknowledged Eskom had agreed to transfer control to the municipality, and it must now just agree on the most expeditious way of implementing the agreement. “We can give you the undertaking that we will do so as quickly as possible,” De Ruyter said.

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