Power restored at eMbalenhle

“Bad leadership under the leadership of mayor Thandi Ngxonono is a reason why the residents find themselves in this situation.

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The Bulletin News

Residents are relieved to have power restored in eMbalenhle after several days without electricity. On Wednesday 3 October a substation exploded leaving the area without power for several days.
Residents complained to the Bulletin that the repairs are taking too long. Some even said that they would embark on a protest campaign if the power was not restored by Sunday night.
The Bulletin visited the substation on Sunday night to establish the exact state of repairs. The MMC (Member of the Mayoral Committee) Technical services, Councillor Dan Nhlapo, was also at the scene. The Editor of the Bulletin approached him where he was sitting on the back of his bakkie with a friend.
When the Bulletin enquired about the state of the repairs and as to when the power is expected to be restored, also stating that residents have threatened with protests if the power was not restored, the friend of Dan Nhlapo started hurling insults towards the Bulletin, stating that the Bulletin has a bad attitude. He then continued to incite a number of other people standing around that started to threaten the Bulletin one even threatened to shoot the Bulletin’s Editor. Dan Nhlapo did not once try to stop the threats nor did he give any feedback on the substation. When asked to give proper translation he laughed it off and said that his friend, as well as the group of people, said nothing. “Don’t worry about it” said Dan.
The leader of SAPROMO, Councillor Sibusiso Hlolweni spoke to the Bulletin regarding the electricity crises in eMbalenhle.
“SAPROMO is saddened by the continuous power outage in eMbalenhle due to the explosion in ext 5 substation. We are not surprised by this explosion as we know that the said substation is a ticking time bomb that is a potential health hazard to the nearby residents and workers of Govan Mbeki Municipality.” Said Hlolweni, “Bad leadership under the leadership of mayor Thandi Ngxonono is a reason why the residents find themselves in this situation. Series of empty promises, lies and maladministration are the leading causes for the service delivery in eMbalenhle including this power outage. The residents were promised that electricity will be taken back to ESKOM, just to have them stop protesting.”
He further stated: “SAPROMO is also not surprised that the resolution to apply for the usage of old Bracken Mine substation is not implemented because this leadership is not willing to implementing anything that will help the community. It is sad that the community has to suffer the consequences of this reckless and ignorant leadership.”
Councillor Mariaan Chamberlain said that the problems exist not only in eMbalenhle but throughout the whole of Govan Mbeki Municipality (GMM).
“Repair is done to substations on a temporary basis but left as is.” Says Mariaan, “the infrastructure is on the verge of collapse due to bad maintenance. It is a disaster waiting to happen.”
“An ADHOC committee was established by the GMM Council to spearhead the move to ESKOM as per council resolution,” continued Mariaan, “This committee has never done any work except 2 days before the first council meeting where the ADHOC committee was established, this meeting was convened mainly to be able to say that a meeting did indeed take place. One decision was taken, that power should also be relayed from the Bracken substation to eMbalenhle.”
Cllr Chamberlain also stated that “After this initial meeting the committee never functioned as there is always some excuse, although meetings were scheduled regularly. There would always be someone else that is needed to sit in on the committee according to the ANC members and if not there they would postpone the meeting just to repeat the process a week later. The next step would be that no one could attend. There would always be some excuse why the committee cannot function on that particular day.” “The promise that the MEC made and forced the ANC council members to adopt regarding the return of electricity supply to ESKOM seems like an empty promise.” Continues Mariaan, “They needed to pass the budget in order not to be placed under administration and made promises with no intention to keep it”
The issue of electricity supply will continue to haunt GMM until the maintenance is done to acceptable standards.
Power was eventually restored late on Sunday night.
“SAPROMO would like to thank the officials of Govan Mbeki Municipality and the service provider who worked around the clock to restore electricity in eMbalenhle. Credit should also go to the director of technical service and technicians who are forever risking their lives to work in that hazardous substation, a time bomb that is waiting to explode at any time. Hlolweni said, “However, SAPROMO is not happy about the time taken to repair the burnt equipment in that substation. We understand that the damage was very big, but it should have taken shorter than it is to repair the damage. SAPROMO also propose that investigation be done to check the cause of the explosion and the reason for such a long time it took to restore electricity and if it is found that it was due to negligence someone must be held accountable.”
The Bulletin will monitor the situation and bring you news of any other developments in future publications.

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