Kagiso has power

15 Jul 2022 in Where We Govern

Kagiso After almost a year of having to cope without electricity the residents of Matlhako Street, Riverside Kagiso 2 was elated when the transformer was fixed and their lights turned back on. This was due to the Mogale City Local Municipality MCLM intervening between Eskom and the residents.

On July 15, 2021 residents of this street spent their first day without electricity. One resident whose mother relied on an oxygen tank said that at first they thought it was only going to be a couple of days but then it went on. Sadly due to not being able to use her oxygen tank the resident contracted a serious lung infection and passed away. Speaking to the News, residents explained how they had to suffer without electricity and how this impacted them financially as well.

Apart from having to use generators, those who could not afford the expensive equipment or the fuel to power it had to come up with other solutions. An elderly resident explained how she would walk in the field looking for wood to make fire and boil water in the backyard for her and her family to bath. This was especially dangerous as there are many illegal miners where they had to look for firewood. Residents had to buy food on a daily basis, use tinned food or even had to ask neighbours and family with electricity if they could store their food in their fridges.

Many of the residents in this community are also unemployed. And for those who could work from home there was no electricity to charge their phones or do their work.

On Thursday, July 14 the Executive Mayor, Councillor Tyrone Gray, MMC for Utilities Councillor Kagiso Lekagane, and Given Masuku who is the manager of energy services at Mogale City visited the community to engage with them on the substation and other issues.

Gray told the community that he was pleased that they finally had a transformer and explained that they had to do a large intervention with Eskom.  This was just one of many such interventions they had taken on. He explained that Eskom was slow in their response and this was one of the projects they had made a priority.

Lekagane thanked the community for their patients and understanding during the long process. Although some residents would have liked the problem to be solved quicker, Lekagane said they were very cooperative. Residents asked Masuku if Mogale City could not take over the electricity infrastructure structure from Eskom for them to not have so many issues, but he explained that it was a process that could be looked into but various factors had to be considered and it would not happen overnight.

So what was the first thing residents did when their lights came on at the beginning of July? They took a long hot bath. Another resident enjoyed heating food in a microwave and cook meals again. Given Masuku, manager of energy services at Mogale City; Mogale City Executive Mayor, Councillor Tyrone Gray; and MMC for Utilities, Councillor Kagiso Lekagane in front of the new transformer.