SHACK FIRE DEATHS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR SOLAR POWER

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Caucus Leader

I am greatly saddened by the deaths of three children in a shack fire this weekend in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg.

Shack fires are a terrible problem in Gauteng. Sixteen people have died in shack fires in Gauteng so far this year.

More than a hundred people have died in such fires in Gauteng since 2006.

The best solution is solar power to light up shacks which can be done affordably with new technology.

One solar panel with one battery can light up eight shacks. It costs about R2500, which is what eight shack families would spend on candles for three months.

This is what the Democratic Alliance’s “Light up your Life” campaign is promoting.

Government should actively promote solar lighting in informal settlements as Eskom is unlikely to electrify most of them in the near future.

The tragedy of shack fires can and should be eliminated.

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