Department of Energy Deputy Minister Barbara Thompson speech for switch-on at Ntambanana, KwaZulu-Natal
17 Mar 2012
Mayor of Ntambanana Municipality, Cllr Gugu Khumalo,
Mayor of uThungulu District Municipality,
Councilors of Ntambanana Municipality,
Councilors of uThungulu District Municipality,
Representatives of Eskom,
Government officials from Department of Energy,
The people of Ntambanana,
Good day to all of you!
Our presence here at this memorable event will surely contribute, in a humble way, to the genuine desire of Government to improve rural areas and turn them into dynamic areas for the sustainable growth of our country.
The KwaZulu Natal province and, specifically uThungulu District Municipality areas have been neglected by the previous apartheid government. This democratic government is fighting back to restore the inequalities of the past and, we are here today with you to formally launch the special initiative for electrification projects, which is an important step in bringing a basic service such as electricity, to you.
The Department of Energy, as part of government's focus on rural development has prioritised electrification backlogs in provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
In order to bring electricity to Ntambanana community, this government had to make sure there is enough electricity, hence we need to build new power stations, substations and supporting network infrastructure. In terms of electricity generation, South Africa can not only rely on coal for electricity generation, but also has to look to other forms of electricity generation like wind, solar, nuclear power and electricity from gas and waste, as well as imports from our region.
That is also why government has recently completed the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2, which identifies the generation options for our country until 2030. In bringing electricity from these generation points to each and every household, the Department of Energy is ensuring that the government of the day is getting into the houses of each one, the government wants to get close to its people.
My visit to you today is to prove to the people of Ntambanana that the promise which was made in 2008 during a visit to your area by the then Minister of Energy and the Premier of KZN that the Department of Energy will assist the Ntambanana Municipality and its people to get electricity is been fulfil today.
Today I can stand before you and officially declare the completion of Obuka Phase 2 electrification project which cost R26.4 million and which ensured that about 1500 new houses have access to electricity.
I want to congratulate the Municipality of Ntambanana, as well as the people of Ntambanana regarding the manner in which this electrification project we officially switched on today and some of the previous projects that have been completed by the Municipality. As you know, the Ntambanana Municipality is not licensed to distribute electricity.
The Department of Energy has given the municipality an opportunity to manage their own electrification projects. They have done very well and the government of the day is extremely proud of you. This is one of the most successful municipal run electrification project in the country, hence why my department has identify this project to be given special attention and to be officially launched by government.
However, irrespective of the current electrification projects, there are still about 4900 households without electricity and we are working closely with Eskom and the Municipality of Ntambanana to address these backlogs. Ntambanana has a total of about 11 000 households, out of these about 6110 households have now access to electricity.
Due to the good manner in which this Municipality has performed in their electrification projects over the last few years, I can announced that for this financial year, 2011/12, funding of R16 million has been made available for Bhadaza Phase 1 for electrification of about 670 houses, which is including the villages of Ndulinde, Mpempeni, Ngqungqu, Oviceni. The contractor will be starting next week with this project!!!
In addition the department has also made an amount of R20 million available for the 2012/13 financial year for the electrification of Obuka Phase 3, which will cover about 1110 households. Planning of these project will start early in the next financial year.
Therefore, in the past two years, and for the next two years the Department of Energy has been allocated a total amount of R84 million to electrify households in this Municipality. I want to end off by requesting, no instructing you, that each customer has to look after the wires and infrastructure that has been installed and still to be installed, in order to ensure that the electricity that has been given to the community of Ntambanana today, will still be here when I come back in a few years’ time.
If you see people tampering or stealing your wires please report them immediately to the SAPD. In addition, the Municipality and Eskom cannot repair and upgrade your wires and make sure that there is electricity in the wires if each of you is not paying for the electricity that is consumed.
In closure, we are on an irreversible path towards improving the lives of our people and I am sure that we shall do this working together with the people of this area.
Ngiyabonga bantu base Ntambanana!
Issued by: Department of Energy
17 Mar 2012
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