Mthatha: Electricity shortages might soon be a thing of the past for Mthatha residents once work on two major substations has been completed.
King Sabatha Dalindyebo executive mayor Nonkoliso Ngqongwa said mounting frustration among residents of the Eastern Cape city over frequent power cuts led to a commitment by the municipality to upgrade the substations at a cost of R65 million.
“Two major electricity substations in Mthatha, at Thornhill and Sidwadwa, are in the process of being upgraded to increase their capacity. This comes about following concerns in Mthatha over the decaying state of infrastructure, specifically with regards electricity service delivery,” said Ngqongwa.
She said some of the money for the upgrade was provided for by the municipality, while the rest came from the Presidential Revitalisation Programme (PRP).
“The municipality has contributed to the successful upgrading of the electricity infrastructure network in the CBD by securing a R40 million loan to meet the standard norms expected of a municipality holding an electricity licence,” said Ngqongwa.
She said the community had also expressed frustration over potholes, sewage flowing directly into the Mthatha River and problems with housing, water and sanitation.
She said these issues would all be addressed under the Presidential Revitalisation Programme through accelerated infrastructure delivery.
She said, however, that improved service delivery also needed buy-in from the community, especially with regard to preventing the ongoing theft of electrical cable, which has cost the municipality more than R1 million in the last 15 months.
“I strongly condemn cable theft and illegal connections, as they slow down good service delivery expected by ratepayers,” said Ngqongwa.