NELSON Mandela Bay Municipality head of infrastructure and engineering, Mongameli Bobani, has made a commitment to accelerate the electrification of shacks in the metro after an eight-year-old boy was recently electrocuted to death by the exposed wire of an illegal electricity connection.
Chuma Mdayi was playing with a friend in the bushes near Mawawa Street in Kingstown, Despatch, last week, when community members heard a scream.
They saw a child come running out of the bushes, who informed the community that Chuma had been electrocuted by an open wire that was lying on the ground. He was declared dead after being rushed to hospital.
Bobani, accompanied by Ward 41 Councillor, Simphiwe Tyukana, visited the boy’s family and found his distraught mother, Ntombizanele Mdayi, in tears. During the visit, Bobani said that the municipality condemned the act of electricity theft that was costing residents their lives and the metro millions every year.
“The electricity being stolen is our electricity and we have to take responsibility regardless of the circumstances surrounding Chuma’s passing. No one will want to take responsibility for this tragic incident. The culprits have vanished and were nowhere to be found when they actually connected electricity illegally.
“We will let the police do their jobs and we call on residents not to take matters into their own hands,” Bobani added.
“This happened while we were busy with the electrification of shacks project across the metro. We were here approximately three weeks ago to assess the work that needs to be done. Due to the severity of Izinyoka in this area, we have decided to start that project here.”
Tyukana made a commitment to work closely with the family as they made preparations for Chuma’s funeral. He said that as the metro, they have serviced sites where they were planning to place temporary shelters from the start of this week as part of the de-densification project. “When those structures are in place, we have requested MMC Bobani to prioritise electrifying those structures as people struggle to move to these shelters when there is no electricity. Although their methods are not safe, they are used to having power,” Tyukana added.
Bobani said contributions would be made to assist the family as they prepared for the funeral.
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