The Guard

The Truth On Board

Eskom takes over but problems persist

By Emily Setona

QWAQWA – As residents of Maluti-a-Phofung (MAP) cheered at the news of Eskom signing a Distribution Agency Agreement (DAA) with MAP, Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Parks Tau warned them of an impending doom should they fail to buy electricity.

On May 7 a team of Eskom representatives along with the premier of the Free State province Mxolisi Dukwana and a host of government officials from both provincial and national governments descended on the community of Qwaqwa to sign a DAA agreement that aims to ensure that Eskom takes over the distribution of electricity to the community of MAP until issues of electricity distribution and revenue collection in the municipality are sorted out.

According to Tau, the signing of this DAA allows Eskom to take over only as an interim solution and that the problems that this community is facing regarding the distribution of electricity will not be simply eradicated by this action.
“The community must be aware that they will be unable to buy electricity unless the current prepaid meter boxes are replaced with new ones. People will go and buy electricity only to get home and realise that the token does not work, and they won’t get electricity.

On behalf of Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality, former acting municipal manager Sam Makhubu signing DAA between Eskom and Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality.

“If there’s one of the areas we are concerned about, it’s Maluti-a-Phofung in relation to the installation of the new prepaid meter boxes and if we don’t solve this problem. We are going to be faced with the challenge of our people not getting any electricity. This municipality has been struggling to distribute adequate electricity to the people of this community, therefore from the date of signature Eskom will be responsible for the distribution of the electricity of MAP.

“Eskom will always be there to assist but in the long term this agreement wants to see Eskom helping the municipality to be able to perform this function on its own when it comes to stable distribution of electricity and proper revenue collection,” Tau said while addressing community members at the Bluegumbosch multipurpose centre.
For his part deputy minister of the Department of Water and Sanitation David Mahlobo said the problem of electricity affects the delivery of water and sanitation services.

“When there is no electricity, we cannot pump water, and sewerage flows into people’s yards. Today is the beginning of a journey; we are not yet at the end. The other problem is the element of crime, whereby our people vandalize their own infrastructure.

Celebrating Free State Premier Mxolisi Dukwana, executive mayor of Maluti-A-Phofung Masetjhaba Lakaje-Mosia, director Sam Makhubu and official from Eskom after signing of DAA.

“There are people who have made illegal connections that is why we have a problem with electricity. We don’t need more security; we need the community to stand up and protect the infrastructure because it belongs to the community not to the government.

“Some of these people who commit these crimes are people that we know; they are our children, our uncles, people we know. We are not here because it is election time, or because we are looking for your votes. No. We are here because the President said to us no one should be left behind,” Mahlobo said.