By Masilo Malakwane
QWAQWA – Chinese investors have pledged to assist Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality to curb constant power cuts and high unemployment rate.
Chairperson of the Johannesburg Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Africa, Michael Lee, disclosed this during his engagement meeting with municipal management comprising of the executive mayor Gilbert Tjhopo Mokotso alongside MMC for Local Economic Development Bridget Lebesa and Municipal Manager Futhuli Tseko Mothamaha on Tuesday, 22 March.
Lee said they were aware of the country’s crisis of unreliable power supply in most rural areas and they would try to reduce the electricity consumption by implementing their newly introduced sustainable solar green energy system of up to 600 mega watts to reduce electricity crisis in the municipality.
“Our Chinese based company would also assist the municipality to renovate its aging road and building infrastructure network,” Lee said.
He also indicated that two to six hundred people within the municipality will be employed at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Harrismith in a Jean fabric industry that will be established later as the negotiations are ongoing.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Local Economic Development, Bridget Lebesa said these Chinese and Taiwanese investors “would assist the municipality in a fight against poverty and unemployment, in a wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
For his part Maluti-a-Phofung Executive Mayor Gilbert Mokotso, said they will identify a safe haven where the municipality will be able to generate solar energy supply as part of its efforts to prevent constant power outages.
“The move will also assist the municipality to reduce its 6 billion debt to power utility, Eskom,” Mokotso said.
Municipal Manager Futhuli Tseko Mothamaha told The Guard that the municipality is in the process of construction projects such as Maluti-A-Phofung gateway, Bluegumbosch mall, Mega city and the refurbishment of Setsing Plaza among others.
“These projects need such investors who will improve the image of this municipality towards local economic development and the improvement of the livelihoods of our communities at large.,”Mothamaha added.