The days when Nonhlawulo Mkhungu (20) of Emakhabeleni had to study using candlelight are over. The KZN provincial government is making progress in ensuring that rural and previously-disadvantaged communities, like the one Mkungu lives in, have access to electricity through the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP).
KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu accompanied by MECs for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube and Sport and Recreation Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Sephetha launched a large-scale electrification project at eMakhabeleni in Umvoti.
The R40 million project, which will electrify 2 400 local households, has 12 000 beneficiaries.
The CRDP aims to tackle, among other things, underdevelopment, food security, unemployment, poverty and other social ills that have become synonymous with rural areas.
Nozibulo Ntshangase (72), a beneficiary of the project, could not contain her excitement.
“Government has done a great job in providing us with electricity, toilets and water. We are now waiting for RDP houses. Once we get them, that will be enough,” she said.
In his address to the people who gathered at the Vukaphansi Sports Field at eMakhabeleni the Premier encouraged residents to ensure that they protect the new public infrastructure from cable theft.
“This electricity is provided for you so look after it. By March 2016 you will all have electricity so do not do illegal connections. Electricity is very dangerous if it is connected illegally, so you must wait for your turn to be connected,” Premier Mchunu said.
In her address MEC Dube-Ncube encouraged residents to ensure that they use electricity wisely. “We came here because we promised as government to ensure that all our residents get electricity. We are keeping our part of the deal, but you as residents have to keep yours by ensuring that you pay for the electricity we provide,” said MEC Dube-Ncube