Family gets power after 20-year wait
AFTER 20 years of living without an electricity supply, a family in Zola, Soweto, have at last received access to electricity.
Last month, Sowetan ran a story on how Bongani Nhlapo, 49, who went blind in 1996 after he was shot, lived without electricity.
Nhlapo and his partner Nelisiwe Tshabalala share the house with their three children aged 20, 12 and five. They live off his disability grant and the two younger children's grants.
The previous tenant owed Eskom at least R60000 in electricity bills and the power was cut off. Nhlapo's family did not have R2100 to reconnect the service.
City Power and the MMC of environmental affairs, Matshidiso Mfikoe, pictured, provided the family with prepaid electricity.
Acting City Power managing director Sicelo Xulu said: "Eskom has confirmed that they have installed a prepaid meter. We will register them with our expanded social package and they will get 150kw/h per month for free."
It would have cost them R2100 to reconnect the power supply, and they could not afford the payment.
Mfikoe said: "I was really touched by this story and I knew I had to do something about this matter. We thank the newspaper [ Sowetan ] for making us aware of such matter."
Other than electricity, the family was given food parcels. They also receive donations of groceries and clothing from their church and local community.
"Truly God does listen. Our prayers have been heard and I am so happy," said Tshabalala.
Previously, Nhlapo had told Sowetan:"The electricity was cut off in the 1980s before we moved in and the house was still under someone else's name."
He said a tenant who was renting the house from his cousin before they moved in went behind the family'sback, registered the house in his name and did not pay for municipal services.
"We even went to the housing department to inquire about the ownership and they confirmed that the house really belongs to us.
"We are still waiting for the new title deed we applied for three years ago," said Nhlapo. - firstname.lastname@example.org