By ANDILE MOSHOESHOE
A 110 families of Marikana informal settlement in Kokstad enjoyed proper lighting for the first time on Wednesday evening. The residents in the area believe the proper lighting brought by Kokstad Municipality will also light up their brains.
They said this on the basis that their kids will no longer study under difficult circumstance under candle-light, and not have worry about collecting firewood after school.
This is after the Kokstad mayor, Bheki Mtolo officially switched-on electricity in Marikana informal settlement which is home to about 110 households.
He said this is part of the municipality’s programmes to electrify informal settlements while at the same time they are in the process of building RDP houses and other community residential units. These programmes are already approved by the Department of Human Settlements in KwaZulu-Natal.
Marikana resident, Nomonde Mtolo, a said life has been tough without electricity where she has to gather wood from the fields to cook donated groceries.
“We are happy because the mayor and our councillor, Zodidi Tshazi fulfilled their promises and everything was done faster than expected. Former leaders have come to make promises in our area especially during election time and vanished,” said Nomonde.
The mayor revealed that this is part of a R3.5-million electrification programme conducted internally by the municipality without the tendering system. He said this therefore means they have managed to electrify more than 1 200 households on their own without outsourcing the job.
He is hoping to complete the whole housing and electrification programme by 2023 despite challenges of fast population growth. Kokstad’s population has grown by 35% in the past 20 years.