flicker of hope

Ntwaagae Seleka

Ntwaagae Seleka

While Eskom is battling to supply enough electricity to the country, a Free State municipality has come up with its own solution - to use sunflower to generate power.

Moqhaka local municipality manager Mokete Duma said they hope to use sunflower crops to generate power for the area before the end of the year.

The decision comes after the municipality received a deluge of complaints from irate consumers since load shedding intensified.

"Blackouts did not only affect businesses around, but everyone.

"While people were aware that the problem was not ours (municipality), still we were flooded with complaints daily," Duma said.

He said he wanted to assure the public that power cuts in the area will be a thing of the past soon.

Duma also said they would resuscitate an old power station in Kroonstad.

He said they have partnered with Bio- Energy Africa the swift flow of electricity.

Duma said they have acquired enough funds to fund the project.

"We have secured R16 million to restore electricity in our area.

"We are expecting to begin the process in March," he said.

He said the new source of power and the Kroonstad power station would improve businesses and create about 500 new jobs.

"Farmers are no longer going to sell their sunflower elsewhere, instead they are going to gain because they would have to sell it to Bio-energy Africa," said the municipality manager.

He said they were going to meet with Eskom next month to strike a deal.

"It would be up to them (Eskom) to join the partnership," said Duma.

Duma says the Moqhaka area is dominated by farmers.