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Task team to tackle Gauteng power issues

Jul 22 2011 18:41 Sapa

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Johannesburg -  A task group has been formed to look into increased electricity tariffs and the impact on electrical infrastructure in Gauteng, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Friday.

"There has been an absence of political leadership in this sector. That is why this political and technical group will be able to make a difference," he said.

The group would consist of representatives of the department of public enterprises, Eskom and local municipalities.

It would meet next week to discuss the reliability and accessibility of the province's electricity infrastructure, and find ways of educating people about the benefits of pre-paid electricity meters.

"The terrain of electricity in this country is changing. The number of users is increasing and we need to educate people to ensure that they are not hostile and understand that technology, like the meters is there to help them," he said.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said that recent events had illustrated the need for education.

"We urge residents not to take matters into their own hands, like what happened in Soweto. There will be many programs to assist people with electricity issues," she said.

The homes of councillor Joe Nemayngane and former councillor Mirriam Ramafola were set on fire during a protest in Chiawelo, in Soweto, on June 5.

They were allegedly paying higher electricity prices in their area and were unhappy with the installation of pre-paid meters.


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