Byline: Nonjabuliso Nhlambo
12 April 2022
Govan Mbeki Municipality in conjunction with the Gert Sibande District Municipality held a public engagement session with the community members of Bethal at Raymond Mavuso community hall on the 07 April 2022.
The objective of the meeting was to provide information on the Bethal-Emzinoni 88kv power line and 40mva substations as well as the payment metering roll-out project currently underway at Bethal.
Mr. Nhlakanipho Mahlangu tried to summarize the presentation where he highlighted what the GMM and GDSM in a manner meant to be simpler for people to understand.
“The reason why we called this community engagement is because the EnPower Machite saw that the supply of electricity for Bethal to have a new substation buikd after its observation whilst it is working with the municipality to combat electricity issues.
According to Mahlangu, the new substation will help release the strain from the currently available substations.
“The process of the building of the substation is underway and we are currently are at a review stage whereby the community has to give the green light for the construction process to proceed.”
Setshaba from GMM explained further how the load shedding was brought into place and and managed.
Before the municipal official could finish his presentation the community members disrupted which led to a question and answer session.
One of the community members said that they must not be provoked as the Machite came in 2021 wherein it promised that it has funds to assist in ending the electricity crisis in the area without the help of the municipality the it is back to make further promises to us after it has failed before.
The Q&A was filled with more suggestions than questions.
One of the community members said that they must not be provoked because since EnPower Machite came in 2021 wherein it made an undertaking that it has funds to assist in ending the electricity crisis in the area without the help of the municipality and now it is back to make further promises to us after its failure to deliver.
“Machite once promised to fix street lights in this area till this date nothing was resolved”.
Some members of the community suggested that Eskom takes over maybe the electricity crisis will come to an end.
After community members outlined their grievances the municipality attempted to respond and the community members showed their dissatisfaction by walking out of the public participation meeting.