The eThekwini Municipality has set aside R3.5 million for an electrification project in the Blackburn informal settlement.

Approximately 1000 households will benefit from the project which forms part of the eThekwini Municipality’s ongoing endeavour to ensure that residents living in informal settlements receive basic services.

Commenting on the project Mayor Zandile Gumede said it will also help reduce illegal electricity connections in the area. “This electrification rollout will benefit approximately 1000 households and is part of the City’s commitment in bettering people’s lives. All eThekwini residents deserve to have access to basic services such as electricity no matter where they reside. All residents must live in a humane and dignified environment,” she said.

The electrification project is expected to be completed by November.

Improving quality of life

Residents of the Blackburn informal settlement are ecstatic with the news of the project. One resident Nothamela Mthiywa, who has resided in the area for about 20 years, said the electrification project will make their lives much easier.

“Life has been really hard without electricity, sometimes our children go to school without ironed clothes because we use prama stove and paraffin is very expensive.”

Because of the dangers posed by using paraffin, Mthiywa said she lives in fear of her shack burning. “I am very happy that our problems are coming to an end and hope that by Christmas time we will be connected. Once we have electricity, I will be able to buy a fridge. This will allow me to buy in bulk and save money,” she said.

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