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Community confused why they don’t have electricity while their neighbours do

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In the meanwhile, residents of RR Section in Khayelitsha use illegal connections

Photo of RR Section Khayelitsha
Parts of RR Section in Khayelitsha have electricity. The parts that do not are on a road reserve and will have to be relocated, according to a City councillor. Photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana
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Though part of RR section informal settlement in Khayelitsha was electrified in 2012, many households do not yet have electricity, and residents don’t understand why.

Abongile Saba, who lives in RR Section, said meetings had been held since 2004 and residents had been shown plans but nothing had happened. He said the City had done a survey last year to identify which homes needed electricity.

“We pull electricity from areas nearby. It is dangerous,” said Saba.

RR Section informal settlement is located along the busy Lansdowne and Mew Way Roads and is an Eskom supplied area owned by the City.

Ward Councillor Monde Nqulwana said more than 600 households had been electrified in 2012-13 in RR Section, but there was still a long way to go and the ball was in the City’s court. “Community leaders must also take responsibility informing residents what is said and discussed in meetings. As it stands now, we are finding ways to electrify where we can,” he said.

Meanwhile, the situation for many residents was dangerous, said Nqulwana. “Residents are currently pulling electricity from nearby Site C and Site B. Cables are on the road and what is even worse, some of the cables are running right on top of the nearby railway line.”

The City’s Acting Mayoral Committee Member for Assets and Facilities Management, Suzette Little, said the land was a road reserve (which is land where no one may build houses).

Little said that residents in the road reserve will have to be relocated. “The community leaders, residents as well as ward councillors are aware of this,” she said. “This was also discussed at the community meeting chaired by the Executive Mayor [last] week.” She said the mayor is meeting with Eskom this week to find a solution. “She will provide feedback to the leadership when she meets with them on 21 June.”

Residents of RR Section protested on Tuesday, barricading Mew Way Road, because of a lack of access to electricity, sanitation and water.

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TOPICS:  Housing

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