Maluti-a-Phofung sub-station explosion caused by maintenance neglect

By Leona Kleynhans, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:

The below member statement was delivered by Leona Kleynhans (MPL) during a sitting of the Free State Provincial Legislature today:

Last week, for the second time in less than a year, the electricity transformer serving Tshiame A, Tshiame B, Makgolokweng and Industriqwa exploded into flames, cutting the electricity to these areas.

The explosion in December last year left these communities without electricity for almost two months.

Repairs at this transformer lie in the region of R23,5 million.

Pleas calling for the proper maintenance of the transformer have been ignored by the Executive Mayor, Cllr Vusi Tshabalala. The excuse once again is a shortage of money.

But Honourable Speaker,

Last month Mayor Tshabalala staged a week-long festival of celebrations in Harrismith and Phuthaditjhaba, undoubtedly at huge cost. When I made a statement in this House about this frivolity, MEC Olly Mlamleli said that this celebration is a tradition and money well spent.

We can see that the communities of Tshiame and Industriqwa being without electricity for months at a time are also fast becoming tradition.

The municipality of Maluti-a-Phofung under ANC leadership is collapsing, and I now predict that many businesses in Industriqwa will have to close, leaving thousands of people without jobs.

We should note that the Tshiame and Industriqwa area is the site of the proposed Logistics Hub, and the Tshiame Special Economic Zone, where a fence has just been erected at a cost of R40 million.

On numerous occasions I have questioned whether Maluti-a-Phofung has the capacity to deliver bulk services to this area where many factories have hoped to open their doors. Events over the last year clearly show that the municipality is unable to deliver even the most basic of services.

But hope remains. Next year the community of Maluti-a-Phofung will have the opportunity to elect an effective and caring government that utilises limited resources for the improvement of people’s lives. They will vote for the DA. The only alternative to the ANC’s poor track record in government.

Honourable Speaker,

The truth is that where the DA governs, the DA delivers. This is an undisputed fact.