Anger over lack of power

THE community of Manguzi on the outskirts of Zululand is up in arms over the Umhlabuyalingana municipality's failure to provide electricity.

Most, if not all, areas under Umhlabuyalingana are trapped in abject poverty due to high unemployment and illiteracy.

Councillor Solo Mkhondo said people have been waiting for electricity for a long time.

He said three years ago Eskom had informed the community that it was not able to electrifying the area because it did not have the capacity.

He said when Eskom had difficulty servicing their areas they relied on Mozambique for more electricity .

He said after they successfully accessed electricity from Mozambique, Eskom asked the municipality to prioritise areas that needed to be electrified.

The community was even informed that Manguzi could be electrified by November.

"To our dismay the municipality came with a list of areas that had no network for starters, leaving Manguzi out, which has the network," he said.

Apparently the municipality, prioritised areas where the IFP got majority votes during elections, leaving those perceived to be aligned to ANC in a ditch.

In 13 wards only five were won by the ANC and those are not on the list.

But municipal manager Eric Manqele denied that the municipality has taken a decision to discriminate against areas on the basis of political affiliation.

"Councillors from the IFP and ANC had met to draw up a list of areas that needed to be electrified, but that list has not been brought to me," Manqele said.

He also denied that the area of Manguzi was the only one with an electricity problem, saying the whole area had a problem.