Gross negligence in Naledi endangers public and animals

Naledi Municipality’s failure to fix earth cables has today resulted in the electrocution of a Naledi farmer’s R60 000 stud animal. Click here for video evidence (please note the content is graphic). This is despite promises from the Municipal Manager, Tshepo Bloom, that they would fix the cables. We have been writing to the MEC for Local Government, Fenny Goalaolwe, to intervene in Naledi with no success. We have continuously reported that several businesses in Naledi, that employ more than 410 people, are regularly without electricity due to damaged earth cables. During the night, workers have to make use of the lights on their cell phones. The lack of safety gear and qualified, skilled workers are a challenge. It was also confirmed that there is no cherry-picker truck available that can hoist the workers to work on the cables and connections that need to be repaired. It is becoming the norm that businesses and taxpayers pay for machinery in order to dig holes where the poles must be replaced. In the meantime, both Mr. Bloom and the Mayor Neo Skalk are blatantly turning a blind eye to the problems businesses encounter. A poultry farm has also been severely affected and had to operate without electricity for three days. We are deeply concerned about the safety of our communities – especially older people who are affected by these black-outs. Naledi is home to the cattle-breeding hub of South Africa and was severely affected by the recent droughts. Several businesses had to close their doors which led to retrenchments. We simply cannot afford any more job losses in the area due to power failures. Meetings on these issues
have been held for the past two years, yet there are no sustainable solutions. We recommend that Eskom takes over the electrical duties from the Municipality as they are not capable of delivering the services our communities need and deserve.