The Lekwa Local Municipality’s residents have been hit by double load-shedding and the DA will refer the matter to Parliament for monitoring.
The consistent in-fighting of the ANC in Lekwa is having a horrific effect on innocent service deserving residents as there is very minimal work being done at the moment due to the dissolution from the council that has been discussed only in the ANC Caucus and corridors with nothing official had come to Council for the announcement.
The municipality owes Eskom over R1 billion, which has resulted in Lekwa introducing its own rotational load-shedding in addition to national load-shedding implanted by the power utility.
In some areas like the J line farms, residents have been without electricity for five weeks to such an extent that the owners of the farm have resorted to solar panel installations. Those who cannot afford solar panel energy have remained without power in this very cold winter.
The municipality should ideally be operating on a notified maximum demand (NMD) of 80 but is still stuck with an NMD of 55 which has been proven over the past three years to be insufficient during the freezing winter months.
The residents of Lekwa not only deserve an uninterrupted electricity supply but they also have a right to receive an acceptable standard of service delivery. Thanks to years of failed-ANC governance, Standerton degenerated into one of the worst-run, debt-ridden towns in South Africa.
When the DA investigated the matter, the municipality stated that due to cable theft the supply will be interrupted for roughly eight hours and that Lekwa will not be able to ring-feed, as the other cables were already stolen. On 7 May 2021, the electricity was eventually restored, but soon afterward residents in areas like Meyerville were hit with load-shedding again. This has been the norm for various areas in the municipality.
Residents have turned to burn tires at a busy intersection in Meyerville out of frustration. The DA condemns any illegal and violent protest that occurred in the past 24 hours. However, it can no longer be justified that residents of Lekwa should continue to accept the glaring incompetency, lack of transparency, nepotism, and corruption of the ANC-led municipality.
The right to acceptable standards of service delivery in terms of water, sewerage, and electricity is entrenched in the Constitution, and by implication, is a right every citizen is entitled to. A DA-led municipality will not allow this kind of degradation.