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POWER RETURNS TO ORANGE FARM AS 11 TRANSFORMERS ARE SWITCHED ON

Lerato Mailoane

In a moment of relief for residents of Extension 1 in Orange Farm, the Gauteng Provincial Government has initiated the replacement of 137 electricity transformers, marking a significant step in re-establishing power to the community. 

The first 11 transformers were ceremoniously switched on Wednesday afternoon, bringing joy to residents who had endured a year of darkness.

Seventy-nine-year-old Elizabeth Nkopi, a resident of Extension 1, expressed her happiness at finally having electricity after a prolonged period of blackout. 

She highlighted the adverse impact of the lack of electricity on the community, citing a rise in crime rates.

Activating these transformers is a crucial milestone in the Transformer Replacement Programme, designed to reconnect communities without electricity, extending beyond the constraints of scheduled load shedding. 

This initiative is part of the broader Gauteng Energy Response Plan, addressing the pervasive energy crisis in townships across Gauteng.

Speaking to residents at the switch-on, Premier Panyaza Lesufi apologised to residents for the extended wait for functioning transformers. 

Emphasising action over words, he pledged to address electricity challenges, including illegal connections and debt management, urging residents to step forward and cooperate.

“I want less talk and more action” in addressing electricity challenges such as illegal electricity connections, managing debts, and registering indigent residents.

“Residents that owe power utility Eskom must come forward so we can help them manage their debt and be switched to prepaid meters and child-headed households, and the elderly must register with the municipality on the indigent list, and we as government will pay for their electricity.” 

Premier Lesufi reassured residents that the remaining electricity transformers would be replaced by the end of December, offering a concrete timeline for the completion of the project.

Ward 2 Councillor Jeanette Dimakatso Ramafikeng expressed her satisfaction with the Premier’s intervention, noting that despite residents having paid the R500 penalty owed to Eskom, transformers still needed to be replaced, leaving them in darkness. 

She commended the Premier for facilitating the acquisition of transformers, announcing that 24 damaged electricity transformers in her ward would soon be replaced. 

“I am happy the Premier assisted Eskom to buy transformers. I can inform the residents in my ward that 24 of their damaged electricity transformers will soon be replaced.”

SOURCED FROM THE GPG WEBSITE.

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