Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The Greater Sekhukhune district municipality has set aside R50 million to electrify more than 20 villages in the district.

The project will be launched tomorrow.

The 23 villages are situated within the Makhuduthamaga municipality, near Jane Furse.

The municipality had initially allocated R70 million for electrification of villages in Makhuduthamaga and Greater Tubatse in Burgersfort in the 2006-7 financial year, but implementation was hamstrung by Eskom's capacity problems.

The power utility is said to have confirmed to the municipality in May that it could only electrify the 23 villages in Makhuduthamaga during the current financial year.

Electrification of Tubatse villages will be on hold while Eskom boosts its capacity.

Executive mayor Dickson Masemola said the municipality had allocated the R50 million to ensure that the district attained the millennium goals of electrifying all households by 2012.

"The pace of providing electricity in this district has been very slow, and rural areas such as Makhuduthamaga and Tubatse have been lagging far behind."

Masemola said service providers had been appointed to design and implement the project and that the villages would be electrified by the end of this financial year.

Meanwhile, a hydro-electric power station is to be built in the district after an agreement between the municipality, Eskom and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

Construction will begin this year and will be completed in 2015. The station will start functioning after the completion of the R9 billion De Hoop Dam at GaMagolego, near Burgersfort.