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The sod turning held on Tuesday for the electrification of Nkehlamandla area near Gqayinyanga in Umzumbe municipality community opened a new page in the lives of this rural community. It was a moment of jubilation and disbelief when Umzumbe Municipality Mayor Representative, Exco Councillor Matho Shozi told the community that the suffering of women and children is near, “This is because in the absence of electricity women and girl children are the ones who suffer the most having to go and fetch wood to make fire.” She added that their lives will now be made easy as they will now just press the button and the lights will come on. “Electrifying an area has other benefits as it is not necessary anymore for people to relocate chasing development,” she added. She mentioned that people need to stay in their grandfather’s land as Umzumbe Municipality takes serious the issue of rural development.
Mr Sandile Phakathi, Umzumbe Municipality Director Technical Services said that this project will see 265 houses being electrified. “The project is expected to be completed in the next coming months when the source or power station where we will be drawing the electricity from has given us a go ahead,” explained Phakathi.
Addressing the community that had not dreaded bad weather, Umzumbe Municipality PR Councillor IB Mbhele said, “The government has spent millions on rural development and about 60% of households in South Africa has access to electricity.” People of Nkehlamandla were ecstatic about the progress made by Umzumbe Municipality. An old resident in the area Mr P Cele could not hold his excitement,” I have been staying here for more than 10 years without electricity. But now Umzumbe Municipality has assured me that my rural village will for the first time see the light come on,” said the elated Mr Cele.
Cllr Matho Shozi also urged the community to go out in numbers to register to vote for the upcoming elections. “South Africans especially the youth must register to vote. This electricity will help them to study much easier and to be able to attend evening classes at school thus improving their results.”
She concluded by saying that soon Umzumbe Municipality will be doing a sod turning in Mgayi area for the electrification of that area.