BM fire victims will soon receive electricity

Worker, Siya Dyifili, installing cables in the Mew Way Temporary Residential Area.

As part of the initiative, 331 shacks will be supplied with electricity before the end of the year.

The area has been without electricity since it was established three years ago following the devastating fire.

Mr Nqulwana said the project seeks to improve living conditions in the area.

He said he was excited that the City of Cape Town finally agreed to the electrification of the area. He said the City was initially very reluctant to have the area electrified, but in the end they agreed. “We felt there was no way forward. They (victims) are here temporarily, but it looks like they will be here for years. So for them and their dignity, we feel they deserve electricity. I could not sit while people have to spend money on paraffin and gas in this economically difficult situation,” he said.

He added he was pleased with the progress made. “This is life to all of us. I am happy that Eskom is on point. Electrifying the area means crime will decrease. It does not just work for them, but for the government too. There won’t be izinyokanyoka (illegal connections) now. People’s lives are no longer at risk from candles and paraffin (being knocked over and causing fires). I am excited with the progress here,” he said.

Nosakhe Mzolisa, who moved into the area three years ago, said over the past three years life has not been easy. She had to use a paraffin lamp and gas stove to cook.

The mother of three hopes her children will now have a better life thanks to having electricity. “The pain of waking up in the morning to put on a stove is unbearable. And you must wait a long time for the water to boil. It is painful to live without electricity for such a long time, especially when you were used to it. Now things will be easy,” she said.

Ms Mzolisa’s days of spending R110 a week for gas are over.

She said using gas and paraffin was risky. “There is excitement all over the area. People are talking about electricity and nothing more. We will have a super Christmas because we will be able to buy refrigerators and other items,” she said.

Community leader Keke Komanisi said it was surprising that the area did not have electricity.

“This is long overdue. Areas like ours should be electrified or people should not be kept here for too long. This should have never been allowed to happen in the first place. But we are happy that part of our troubles are solved. Things like crime will decrease. Stealing of our cables by thieves will be no more,” he said.