PICTURE: SIBUSISO NDLOVU
PICTURE: SIBUSISO NDLOVU

DA's John Steenhuisen uses Ekurhuleni's electricity woes to spark election campaign

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Sep 21, 2021

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DA LEADER John Steenhuisen has urged Ekurhuleni residents to vote for the party in the local government elections if they want to want to see an end to electricity and water concerns experienced in the city.

Steenhuisen visited Ekurhuleni’s Modder East substation which has in the past caught fire and left residents without power.

He said that like many other municipalities in South Africa, Ekurhuleni was not unique.

He said power issues were driven by the municipal failure to maintain infrastructure but also Eskom’s unreliability.

"The story of Ekurhuleni is not unique – towns and municipalities across South Africa have no energy security at the hands of incompetent ANC governments.

“The DA has a plan to fix South Africa’s electricity woes, but we need a clear mandate in municipalities across the country in this election,” Steenhuisen said.

Earlier in the day, DA Ekurhuleni mayoral candidate Refiloe N'tsekhe met residents of Kempton Park’s industrial neighbourhood in Spartan.

She said what plagued the municipality was corruption and the lack of qualified public servants who can work to solve the electricity problems.

N'tseke serves as a member of the provincial legislature for the DA.

She was previously a councillor in Ekurhuleni.

She said if the DA succeeds in gaining enough votes, she would ensure key issues on water, electricity and sewerage concerns were dealt with.

“The crux of the matter lies in the finances of the municipality. I have been talking about the electricity issues in the city because I think it is the catalyst to ensuring that the metro works and attracts business,” N'tsekhe said.

“We also need to talk about the water issue because no one wants to build a business in an area without water. No one wants to build a business where trucks struggle to drive because of potholes.

“The stormwater drainage in this city is also an issue. I cannot remember the last time maintenance was done to the system,” she said.

In 2016, the ANC received 48.88% of votes in Ekurhuleni. It ran the city for the past five years in a coalition partnership.

The DA had obtained 34.43% of votes in Ekurhuleni.

Despite this massive task to win the city over, N'tsekhe seemed optimistic that her message to residents had won some of them over, especially in townships such as Tsakane and Duduza.

“We are a party that listens and cares about the people. I have been going around this area. I have been to Nigel, Springs and Katlehong engaging residents.

“In Dududza it was the taxi drivers who came to me and said the DA could have done better.

“Wherever I have gone, where you would have said this is an ANC stronghold, we had more party agents than the ANC has. People were telling the candidate that ’hey, we are voting for you’. This would have never happened a few years ago,” she said.

N'tsekhe will launch her vision for the City today.

POLITICAL BUREAU

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