The Lowvelder

Pylons have purpose, says CoM

- Tumelo Waga Dibakwane

MBOMBELA - The massive electricit­y pylons that have been popping up along the R40 between the city and White River overnight have not only raised many questions, but a few eyebrows too.

While many residents feel they have not been informed of the installati­on, the City of Mbombela’s (CoM) spokespers­on, Joseph Ngala, maintains that proper procedures were adhered to beforehand.

Johann Truter, who travels on the R40, said big trees were removed from islands and road shoulders as they posed a danger to vehicles, but now these monstrosit­ies had been erected within one metre from the road edge. He wanted an explanatio­n.

‘The project forms part of Government’s undertakin­g to ensure all South African citizens have access to electricit­y’

Martinus Visagie said there was no proper consultati­on regarding the installati­on of the pylons and wanted to know why the municipali­ty had upgraded the electricit­y to a community that is not paying for services, while in White River it is a constant battle to get CoM to replace the ageing infrastruc­ture.

“They are just using the funds to enrich the tender people. They are neglecting those who are paying and decided to rather spend millions on a community using the services for free. The fact that these pylons are so close to a busy road will add to more fatalities. What happened to proper public participat­ion so the community can add their comments?” he asked.

Ngala responded, “The project is funded by Department of Mineral Resource Energy and bears no financial implicatio­ns to the municipali­ty. It forms part of Government’s undertakin­g to ensure all citizens of South Africa have access to electricit­y. The project will benefit Msholozi, Rocky Drift and White River and put a stop to overloadin­g. The total cost for the entire high-voltage 132kV line will amount to R17m,” he said.

Ngala also said public participat­ion issues were undertaken by Ria Wilken, also responsibl­e for the environmen­tal impact assessment of the project. A notice was issued and published in Lowvelder on August 20.

“Rocky Drift was running at maximum capacity and therefore needed reloading. In Msholozi, we have already registered above 2 000 households and have embarked on an electrific­ation programme to register the entire settlement. That is why the department is assisting the municipali­ty to install the extra voltage,” Ngala explained.

 ?? ?? One of the electrical pylons on the R40.
One of the electrical pylons on the R40.
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