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Crisis with electrical grid

Illegal connections and an ageing infrastructure are causing the electrical grid in Ward 11, Welkom, to overload, resulting in daily outages.

Vicky Morris, councillor, says it is a massive problem.

“People expect us to fix the potholes, fix the sewage, fix the electricity, but a mere 17% are paying for services.

“Between 8 000 and 12 000 residents live in this ward. The 17% who are paying diligently are being incon­venienced by the 83% who do not pay,” says Morris.

Morris, accompanied by Tshepo Davids and other roleplayers, did a surprise inspection in Bronville on Sunday (07/07).

“What we found was shocking. Of the 20 houses in one street, only two were not bypassing electricity. In two instances we found residents using two plate stoves as heaters, also attached to already overloaded illegal bypasses,” says Morris.

“Unemployment is no excuse to not pay for services. Matjhabeng has an indigent policy. Residents who receive an income of less than R3 400 per month qualify for this rebate,” says Morris.

The major overhead cable project from Manny’s in Welkom to Bronville is expected to relieve and eradicate the power problem, but the continual outages are causing costly delays.

“The contractor who has been appointed for the project also has to do emergency repairs to the grid. Residents must stop vandalising and stealing if they want a better Ward 11. Pay your service accounts so that Bronville can be uplifted,” says Morris.

Residents are fed-up.

“There are so many stories about what the cause is, but no-one wants to tell us the truth,” says Niklaas Ouman.

“The residents want Nkosinjani Speelman to be truthful.

“First, they told us that the recent flood caused the frequent power outages, but even after they fixed that, the outages continue.

“We are suffering major losses. We want to know what is happening.”

On Facebook Andrew Peter Titus asked both Morris and Davids who will take responsibility if any of his appliances are damaged. “I am buying electricity, not stealing it. People who are paying are experiencing the loadshedding. This is an irritating issue. We cannot listen to nonsense all the time and suffer because of the nonsense of other people.”

Ward 11 comprises Bronville, Vergenoeg, Ext. 9, Mandela Park, Maurpark, Riemvasmaak and Ext. 19.

An urgent community meeting to address the problems will be held in the Bronville Community Hall on Sunday (14/07) at 15:00.

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