Molepo and Chuene villagers get electricity

MMC for Energy, Cllr Steve Mashabela, Albert Chuene (Ditlou Machidi tribal authority), Thembi Nkadimeng (mayor), Cllr Caiphus Mathiba (speaker) and ward Cllr July Mokonyama with jubilant residents of Leshikishiki following the announcement that their households will be electrified by September 2015.

LIMPOPO – IT WAS all cheers recently from the communities in the Molepo Chuene Maja cluster as they reckon this year’s Christmas will be celebrated in a better way as they were handed multimillion rands electrification projects by the executive mayor, Cllr Thembi Nkadimeng. These are the communities of Mankgaile, Manthoroane, GaThaba and Leshikishiki. The executive mayor was in the cluster yesterday to announce and introduce the communities to the contractors who are appointed for the electrification of the villages and also to handover the site formally as an instruction to proceed with electrification.

The electrification projects to be implemented at a cost of approximately R17 million will benefit a combined 978 households and is expected to be completed within four months. The projects are also expected to create about 126 temporary job opportunities for locals. The mayor together with the community and councillors broke the ground where the light will be erected. A high mast light (Apollo) will be erected at Leshikishiki area next to the Chuene turn-off junction which has been identified by the community and the police as a high crime risk area. The light is expected to illuminate the area in the fight against crime.

The executive mayor did not mince her words when urging the community to support the project and the contractor to ensure that there is no interference by community members that would interrupt the flow of the project implementation over employment issues. “In fact we would appreciate that you support the contractor so that if possible the process could be sped up and be completed before the expected time,” she said, adding that the children from the community should have access to information like children in the city because of access to electricity.

Nkadimeng also pleaded with traditional authorities not to use government services to penalize members of the community who do not fulfill their traditional offices requirements and also pleaded with the community to perform their obligations in regards to requirements from the tribal authority.

She took the opportunity to emphasise that electrification in the municipality is done according to the electrification priority list. “Even though electrification of rural areas is not within the municipality’s licence area, Polokwane will continue to put aside funds in order to ensure that the backlog is reduced,” she added.

One elderly resident from the GaThaba village who was part of the gathering said she was grateful for the electricity project because “our children will be able to study in proper lighting and be relieved from candles”.

GaThaba village headman, Lehumo Thaba, said the community appreciates the fact that apart from receiving electricity, the project brings with it job opportunities that would benefit members of his community.

The representative of the Ditlou Machidi Tribal authority Albert Chuene echoed the call by the executive mayor for the community to support the process and further ensure that once the project is complete the community takes the initiative to guard against cable theft that would leave them in the dark. “We appreciate the patience exercised by the community and had faith in the municipality,” Chuene said.

This electrification projects are implemented with funding from the DBSA.

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