Soweto residents live in tough conditions after Eskom disconnects electricity

Judith Ngwenya has been struggling since her electricity was cut off.
Judith Ngwenya has been struggling since her electricity was cut off.
Image: Penwell Dlamini

"Our government has let us down and has forgotten that we voted for it."

These are the direct words used by Judith Ngwenya of Klipspruit, Soweto, who has lived without electricity for the last six months.

Ngwenya, 77, joined other Soweto residents who have applied to the South Gauteng High Court to have their electricity reconnected. A total of 250 Soweto residents are part of the court application.

Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation has taken the plight of the residents to court. It wants the court to order Eskom to also write off the debt the residents owe and allow them to pay a R100 monthly flat rate.

Ngwenya has been struggling to cope without electricity with her two grandchildren.

"We live on bread every day. We can't buy meat because the fridges are not working. I am constantly constipated and have to [ukupeita] for me to go to the toilet. It is sad," Ngwenya said.

Neighbours across the street charge R5 for something as small as charging a cellphone.

An electric box caught fire next to her home and Eskom refused to fix it, because the people in the area owed a lot of money. Soweto owes Eskom about R18bn.

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