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Electrification of suburb set to start

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Construction would start from the beginning of this month and last until June 2021. Approximately 1 100 households will be supplied with electricity in terms of the project.

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The long-awaited electrification of Lerato Park, which will see more than 1 100 households receiving electricity, is set to kick off next week.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality said yesterday that funding had been received from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to electrify the area.

The municipality is the implementing agent, while Bigen Africa is the consultant and Motheo Construction Group is the contractor.

Municipal spokesperson Thoko Riet explained that the electrical design had been structured to follow a hybrid philosophy, where the 11kV medium voltage line will be underground and the 400V/230V line will be overhead.

“The electrical network is also of a high quality and shall have a long-lasting lifespan,” said Riet.

She added that the construction would start from the beginning of this month and last until June 2021. “Approximately 1 100 households will be supplied with electricity in terms of the project.”

The electrification of Lerato Park has been an ongoing issue for several years already with residents previously taking their frustrations at the municipality’s failure to deliver on its promises to the streets, barricading the Barkly West road on a number of occasions.

The municipality originally promised to start the electrification of Lerato Park in April this year.

According to the annual budget statement of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, the Lerato Park electrification of 675 homes received funding to the tune of R12.1m from the Integrated National Electricity Programme (INEP) Grant.

An amount of R6 million has been budgeted in this financial year for the completion of 50% of the Lerato Park bulk electrification programme.

Together with the completion of the bulk sewerage infrastructure and the installation of the electrical and mechanical components at the pump station in Eagle Street/Lerato Park, the area will receive the largest portion of the municipality’s capital budget for this financial year. The biggest project on the capital programme is for the development in Lerato Park, to the tune of R26.455m, to complete the bulk sewerage infrastructure and the installation of the electrical and mechanical components at the pump station in Eagle Street/Lerato Park.

This project is funded through the Integrated Urban Development Grant.

This is besides the R6m that was allocated through the INEP to complete 50% of the construction work for the bulk electrification.

The launch of the electrification project in Lerato Park will take place today and will be followed by an event to celebrate the provision of electricity to 117 houses in Homevale with electricity.

According to Riet, the electrification project in Homevale cost R1.9m and was also funded by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.

“The project was started in December 2019 and was completed in August.”

Riet added that there were some challenges due to Covid-19 as well as a change of personnel which resulted in the delay in the completion of the project.

“Through the project, the lack of electricity in Homevale has been successfully eradicated and the area has been supplied with quality of electricity, which is capable of catering for the growth and development of the area as well as a long-lasting lifespan of the network. The electrical network is an overhead line supply, consisting of an 11kV medium voltage line, which is stepped down to 400/230V low voltage line. To ensure safety and security, Homevale has also been supplied with energy-saving LED street lights.”

According to Riet, the electrification of the houses in Homevale was part of a substitute project because Santa Centre, Soul City and Mathibe were not ready. “As a result, the project was undertaken in Homevale and Donkerhoek.”

The municipality further encouraged the residents of Homevale to “enjoy their newly installed electricity and to exercise energy-saving methodologies”.