A local traditional leader in an area of Greater Tubatse is relishing the thought of having a community
standing up and demanding what was due to them.”
In what some would interpret as a sign of modesty, the kgoshigadi, who could easily have called any of the big hitters to prioritise her needs, is instead waiting for all the community’s houses to be electrified before having her own office connected. More than a month since the seminal electrification of the households in her chiefdom began (along with those on the other side of the municipality in Makotaseng), her traditional affairs offices – a building near her home – still stands in total darkness. Sitting outside her cream house on a sweltering Friday night, Dinkwenyane points towards the building a few metres away.
In line with the actions of the kgoshigadi, Leboeng village’s headman, Frans Motubatse – who credits electrification in part for improved relations with government – says “knowledge is power”, adding that if everyone has access to it then the community, and society, ought to prosper.
That resonates with Jackson Tjatji, chairperson of the SA National Civic Organisation in Tubatse. The forthright leader, clad in an ANC T-shirt, insists knowledge and information should be shared by all.
There is no reason to fear an informed populace or citizenry, he says. After all, he asks half rhetorically, who benefits from keeping people in the dark?
He then rushes to liken the continued lack of power in many rural parts of Greater Tubatse, Sekhukhuneland and beyond to denying people growth opportunities. Madiba would have agreed.
For Motubatse, it starts with schoolchildren, who will now be able to study at night and, in the process, learn more, which should in turn empower society at large. His special appeal to his fellow villagers is that they need to use electricity wisely and protect public infrastructure.
With regret, he notes how cable thieves have made their mark even in the sleepy Leboeng. To combat this, he urges constant vigilance.
CARING Kgoshigadi Dinkwenyane