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Workers slam Mokotso over power outages

By Masilo Malakwane

QWA QWA –Angry workers of QwaQwa factories were up in arms on Wednesday as they expressed their outrage at the Executive Mayor of Maluti-a-Phofung Gilbert Mokotso demanding immediate restoration of power in the industrial areas.

The workers told this publication that the current constant power outages in the municipality are costing them their jobs, hence they decided to stage a protest over potential job losses.

Joseph Mlangeni said “we are always told to return home due to power outages in the industrial areas and our municipality is slow to attend to this power crisis.”  

Jeminah Mokoena said the electricity crisis in MAP is making life difficult for them as it has terribly affected the factory industry. “As a single parent and a breadwinner, these power outages will negatively affect our wages come fortnight. This is because there is no production.”

Businessman Anisha Ranjith who has been doing business for about a decade in the industrial area, said the business industry in MAP area is slowly collapsing every day. She said she finds it difficult to pay her 90 employees because she cannot afford to buy a generator. “The situation had worsened for the past two weeks now and we would be forced to close our businesses if the municipality fails to find a solution,” said Ranjith.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of MAP-Business and Community Development Association (MAP-BCDA) Nelson Moekoa said the business community loses more than a billion rand a year due to constant power outages. “The solution is for Eskom to build a new mini substation that would supply only the industrial areas,” said Moekoa.

Factory workers marching to Maluti a Phofung unhappy with regular power cuts.

He also emphasised the fact that municipality should force foreign businessman to comply with the by-laws of the municipality.

However, Gilbert Mokotso said the municipality has paid Eskom M74-million but it continues to cut off electricity.

“Indeed, there was load-shedding in the industrial areas and some parts of our residential areas, for different reasons. In some parts of our areas our main power lines had been cut off by a tree that had fallen when someone was cutting trees around his yard on the  outskirts of Makwane; but we promise to restore them as soon as Eskom plays its part.” said Mokotso.