Thu Oct 27 16:54:30 SAST 2016

'Electricity is a necessity today'

By unknown | Jan 29, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

For Carol Makombela, 21, and her four siblings it was a dream come true to switch on their lights for the first time.

This child-headed family in Sasekani village in Tzaneen, Limpopo, was one of the families whose lights were switched on by Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica at the weekend.

Makombela could not control her emotions when the light bulb lit up her house for the first time.

"This is what my mother wanted for a long time. It is so sad that she died before she could see this. We got used to chopping wood and using candles, but this is such a relief," Makombela said.

Her mother died two years ago and as the eldest child, she had to take over and look after her siblings.

She is unemployed and relies on the foster care grant she receives every month.

Their bare and dilapidated house echoes the pains of childhood struggles and poverty.

The house has no panes of glass in the windows and makeshift cupboards are used as doors.

Piles of chopped wood lie in the back yard to make fire for cooking and warmth in winter.

The family also received a fridge, a two-plate stove, an iron and groceries.

Paulie Mboweni, an aunt who lives nearby and often helps , said: "We are so happy today. The little that we got means a lot. At least these children's lives will improve a bit because they will no longer have to chop wood."

Sonjica called on the local government officials to look after similar households and try to reduce the burden faced by young people like Makombela.

"I appeal to the ward councillor and the Tzaneen local government MEC to monitor this family and try to get them a decent house. This is a typically needy family and they need help," Sonjica said.

The local king, Samuel Mohlaba, thanked the minister and appealed to her and Eskom to look into electrifying the rest of Sasekani.

"We have to move with the times. Electricity is a necessity not a luxury," Mohlaba said.


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT