MAYOR Herman Mashaba with homeowner Nelisiwe Mbele at Meriting informal settlement, south of Johannesburg, to launch the second phase of an electrification project that will supply electricity to 480 households. Nokuthula Mbatha African News Agency(ANA)
Some 480 new households in the Meriting informal settlement, near Lenasia, are set to receive electricity.

On Wednesday, city mayor Herman Mashaba and the member of the mayoral committee for environment and infrastructure services, Nico de Jager, launched the R17 million second phase of electrifying the settlement.

During this electrification, 120 street lights will also be installed.

More than 500 households have been electrified since March 2017. Now that the city’s housing department has allocated land and stands to beneficiaries, City Power will start phase two.

The utility is expected to make use of about 16 local labourers as a way to create job opportunities for locals.

New low-voltage cables are being used, which are made of aluminium and are not prone to cable theft because they have little or no scrap metal value.

They are made of a steel core, which makes it difficult for cable thieves to cut and steal it.

The mayor said electrification prevented possible dangerous illegal connections and allowed City Power to install prepaid meters into residents’ homes.

Also, the possibility of illegal connections overloading the power grid, resulting in prolonged unplanned outages was minimised.

To date, the city has electrified 2167 units in informal settlements, with more projects to start in the near future.

The council passed an adjustment budget in January, allowing R82m additional spending for the electrification of informal settlements, bringing the budget to R200m for the 2018/19 financial year.