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Deputy President David Mabuza is confident that the people of Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State will soon have their water and electricity challenges resolved.

Deputy President Mabuza made these remarks during an oversight visit to Phuthaditjhaba which is located in the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality.

“We are here because of the challenges that are experienced by the local communities and this municipality. We are here to deal with the challenges that are experienced by the people in this area,” Mabuza said on Tuesday.

He said plans and presentations made to him by municipal and the various stakeholders indicate that work towards ensuring that there is water and electricity is underway.

The Deputy President also visited a local traditional leader who emphasised the importance of water and electricity.

In addition, the Deputy President expressed confidence in the plans presented by the municipality, Eskom and other stakeholders saying they will bear positive results.

He noted that there are a number of projects that are running in the area and expressed concern that some had been disrupted before they could be finished.

“We have called all the business forums in the area so that we could talk to them, these are job opportunities, for them.  There is no need to disrupt these projects because people want water,” Mabuza said.

The Deputy President made a commitment to return to the area in 15 days to monitor progress.

Electricity challenges

On the issue of electricity challenges, the Deputy President said the issue would be resolved by the end of April.

“Eskom and the municipality must partner together and Eskom must help the municipality to collect the revenue. We are confident that the problems are going to be resolved,” Mabuza said.

Local resident Thatohatse Molamu said he is confident that water and electricity challenges would be resolved following the Deputy President’s visit.

“We are confident that the Deputy President is going resolve all our problems here. Our municipality have failed to provide us water, we now putting our hopes to the Deputy President to help us,” Molamu told SAnews.

Another resident, Patrick Seruwe, said that the community has pinned their hopes on the Deputy President’s intervention.

Elizabeth Ross sub-station

The Deputy President and his entourage also visited the Elizabeth Ross sub-station which is still under construction.

Once completed, the sub-station is said to ease of the problem of electricity in the area.

The Deputy President’s oversight visit is the second such visit since he made an undertaking in Parliament to intervene in service delivery hotspots.

The issues that were raised in Parliament by various political parties were related to electricity and water disruption due to debt owed by the municipality to Eskom.

Maluti-a-Phofung was previously placed under Section 139 (1) (b) on the Constitution which has since been lifted.

The visit by the Deputy President forms part of support interventions by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Service Delivery.

During the visit, the Deputy President was briefed on measures undertaken by the province and the municipality to resolve the issue of the escalating debt to Eskom, which has also led to disruption of electricity supply.

In some areas water supply is affected due to power interruptions.

The Deputy President was accompanied by Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister David Mahlobo, Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela, the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola and the leadership of the District and Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, among others.


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