By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA – Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality executive mayor Gilbert Mokotso has urged residents of the municipality to cooperate with officials and allow them to install smart meter boxes in their houses as part of efforts to stabilise electricity supply.
Mokotso made this plea in an interview with the media at a council sitting last Friday.
The process of installing smart meter boxes has already started in Phuthaditjhaba and Bluegumbosch.
“We have embarked on n exercise to install smart meter and we have already started in some wards; our project is moving well but not fast enough. Our intention was to use many contractors in our municipality to spread across the municipality wards to ensure the work is done fast. In places where we have installed the meter boxes we made sure there is vending station where people can purchase electricity. We have done this in Phuthaditjhaba and Bluegumbush and Hillside area.”
Mokotso said he has heard that there had been problems in some places and residents are unhappy.
“Where people are unhappy with their meter they must consult their ward committee or ward councillor who will then report to me. What I have gathered so far is there are some people who call themselves employees of the municipalities and yesterday they swindled one person of R7000. I am still investigating this.
“For now, it isonly municipality officials who are working on this project and they will be recognised by municipality T-shirts bearing the logo. Residents must be wary of who enters their homes; we do not want this good initiative to be hijacked by thugs. Replacement or installation of smart meter is free.”
He also cast more light on the agreement between municipality and Eskom’s taking over electricity supply.
“We decided to continue to install these smart meters but by the time Eskom comes in we will have made lot of progress. We have already signed our part and waiting for Eskom.”
The mayor also pleaded with the community to take advantage of the debt relief offered by municipality.
“We have invited our residents to come forward and pay half of what they owe municipality and have the other half cancelled. But so far our residents are reluctant; it could be our poor communication regarding this issue because in the past it used to work.”