Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has lived up to his promise of re-electrifying the community of Kagiso on the West Rand.
Last month, Lesufi promised to install 41 electricity transformers over the next three weeks in Kagiso as some of the communities had lived without electricity for three years.
At the time, he said the communities of Soweto, Orange Farm and Kagiso were hardest hit by the electricity crisis due to vandalism, theft, illegal connections and non-paying customers.
On Sunday evening, the premier, together with Eskom and City Power technicians, installed six new transformers, bringing back power to the people of Swaneville, Kagiso, after it was reported that community has been without electricity for three years due to broken and missing transformers.
The operation kicked-off with a community meeting in Swaneville.
In Doornkop, before the switch-on in Swaneville, Lesufi urged residents to pay for the services and guard against theft and vandalism.
The premier met Doornkop residents and listened to their concerns about electricity challenges.
“I want us to be clear. We agreed that those who can afford to pay, must buy electricity. Those that can’t afford to pay, must register as indigent customers and those that are illegally connected, will be removed and those that want to be legally connected will apply to be legally connected,” he told residents.
At about 7pm, on Sunday, the Swaneville residents jumped for joy and cheered as they were reconnected to the grid.
Lesufi said the provincial government was in talks with Eskom on how best to help customers who were asked to pay R500 to buy new transformers.
“We are still in discussion with Eskom over this issue of R500 … We have asked them about this issue. So, now we want to know what will happen to those who have already paid. Should we pay them back or what? So, when we have sorted that issue, we will come back to you,” he said.
Before the operation, Lesufi said he understood the pain of not having electricity and promised to deploy law enforcement agencies to ensure that the newly installed transformers were not destroyed or vandalised.
“Not having electricity is not pleasant, therefore we are going to install big transformers so that there are no power glitches. We are going to deploy law enforcement agencies when installing these transformers, so that these transformers do not get stolen. There will be strict security arrangements to ensure that those transformers are safe.”