Angry residents demand electricity

NCOTSHANE residents in Pongola, on the outskirts of Zululand, have accused Eskom and the local municipality of playing "hide and seek" at their expense.

The residents claim they have been waiting for more than 10 years for electricity.

They said each time they enquired they were given conflicting responses.

Eskom has pointed a finger at the municipality, while the municipality has in turn blamed Eskom.

Yesterday, a group of angry residents went to Eskom's regional offices in Pongola to demand answers.

One of the residents, Joseph Mhlongo, said he has submitted eight applications, and each time, he has been sent from pillar to post.

"The last time I decided to use my wife's identity document, hoping that would make a difference, but I was wrong. I still rely on candles and wood to cook," he said.

He said what concerned them most was that cables have been installed in RDP houses just a stone's throw away from them, though electricity has not been switched on there either.

"When we went to Eskom, we were told that there are some loopholes that the municipality had to tighten up. When we called our councillor, Jabulani Ngwenya, Eskom changed their tune when he arrived, blaming logistical hiccups," said Mhlongo.

Ngwenya said the municipality was not responsible for installing electricity, but that it was the duty of Eskom to do so.

Eskom spokesperson Zethu Sonjica promised to comment later.