1,330 houses in Mamelodi without electricity, some for seven years

City of Tshwane says it took over the project from the province before it could budget for it

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Photo of an electrical transformer box

Electricity infrastructure and streetlights in Nellmapius Extension 22, Tshwane, have never been connected. Photo: Warren Mabona

Residents of 1,330 RDP homes in Nellmapius Extension 22, Mamelodi, say they have been waiting for many years for electricity. There are streetlights and supply infrastructure, but the area has never been connected to the grid.

According to the residents, the first beneficiaries moved into their houses in July 2016, followed by another group in August 2019.

“We have been waiting for electricity for seven years,” said Themba Molotshwa. “I’m scared of walking to the shops on some streets late at night, because many people get robbed here.”

He said people make sure their children are home after sunset as there is a lot of criminal activity under cover of darkness.

Jonny Mphao, who lives with his wife, says their children stay in Mathyzensloop in Mpumalanga because there is no electricity at home.

“They don’t want to stay with us here because they cannot watch television …. They get bored,” he said. Mphao said that without refrigeration it was hard to keep food the children liked.

Karabo Malokwane, who is studying law at UNISA, says without electricity at home she struggles to submit assignments and has to go to another area to use her laptop and charge her phone.

Spokesperson for the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements Tahir Sema said construction of the houses started in 2011. There are still some unfinished houses.

The City of Tshwane said it had taken over over responsibility for electrification from the province without a budget having been allocated. “Given the pressure from the community, the City started with the project in 2021/2 even though there were budget constraints for the project to be completed,” said the City media team. The electrification cost is estimated at R40.5-million.

The project stalled because of a long delay in the delivery of medium voltage cables. Then there was theft and vandalism to contend with, said the media team.

TOPICS:  Electricity

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