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CAPE TOWN- The Eskom Development Foundation has presented a R750 000 cheque to the South African Red Cross Society in aid of the Free State Province’s Setsoto Municipality drought relief programme.

According to a statement, the funds will be used towards the purchasing of a submersible water pump for the town of Ficksburg as well as 25 x 10 000 litre Jojo tanks. The tanks will be installed at schools, crèches and old aged homes in Senekal. 

It is said that this will ensure that, when the Municipality is faced with challenges of water shortage, the drought will have a reduced effect on the education system and the elderly who reside in the old age homes.

“Because Eskom is everywhere and within every electrified household, we cannot and will not turn a blind eye to the struggles of our people,” said the General Manager of Eskom in the Free State, Lindi Mthombeni when presenting the cheque to Derick Naidoo, Chief Executive Director of the South African Red Cross Society.
 
Mthombeni added that “the drought had a devastating effect on the community of Senekal and other harshly affected Free State towns, but if there is one good thing to come from it, it is the rightful appreciation for a lifesaving resource that we take for granted and that we always assume should be there when we open the taps”.

It is further said that Eskom’s action is in response to the drought that has been described as the worst in decades and that has had a devastating effect on the Eastern Free State town of Senekal for the past two years. The water scarcity has had a disruptive effect on service delivery and on the community’s quality of life, resulting in the Setsoto Local Municipality being declared a drought area in August 2015.

For a big part of 2016, residents were queuing for the little water that they could get their hands on. Although water supply has since been restored to households, mitigating strategies are still required to soften the impact that the dry conditions have on the community.

The acting Chief Executive of the Eskom Development Foundation, Cecil Ramonotsi, said that Eskom is more than just an electricity provider and wants to positively contribute by bringing assistance and relief where it’s needed. 
“We are happy and proud to be able to assist this municipality through this donation. We hope these tanks will help provide water to some of the key social institutions in the area like schools, crèches and old age homes,” said Ramonotsi.

-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE