By Cllrs Terence Fritz and Dillon Webb:
The Democratic Alliance is grateful for the urgency shown by newly appointed Buffalo City mayor Alfred Mtsi regarding the growing problem of illegal electricity connections (izinyoka) in the city that has killed 29 people in the last three years.
Our population is constantly growing resulting in the crisis to worsen. People want access to electricity and many are going the illegal and dangerous route to acquire it. Two weeks ago another two young children lost their lives due to izinyoka. This as a serious problem that needs urgent intervention.
We believe that every South African deserves a fair society where they have access to electricity to give them the freedom to create the opportunity for a better life.
During last week’s (subs: Thursday, 6 Aug) meeting of the Infrastructure Planning and Services Portfolio Committee chairperson Mteteleli Sam acknowledged izinyoka – described by some as ‘’a commercial crime’’ and an “’economic sabotage”’. He claimed that with new land invasions taking place in the metro, the more likeliness it is for izinyoka to spread and we are shooting a moving target.
The committee was informed that BCM mayor Alfred Mtsi had already asked for a full report, including a 10-point plan on how to overcome this crisis.
The DA commends the portfolio head of engineering for being pro-active on the matter and trust that the process of presenting the report to the committee, mayoral committee, and then to council for approval will be done speedily.
At the same meeting a report regarding BCMM looking to renewable energy to curb our electricity problems was put on the table; however, the fruits of this will probably be seen in the long term.