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’Shhh … don’t tell Sol’

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Social media has been abuzz lately after a local resident questioned why Roodepan and Homelite do not experience load shedding like the rest of Kimberley.

Tumelo Mosikare

SOCIAL media has been abuzz lately after a local resident questioned why Roodepan and Homelite do not experience load shedding like the rest of Kimberley.

The Sol Plaatje Community Forum Group on Facebook was started four years and has over 47,000 members. As stated on its page, the forum was established to ensure efficient and effective service delivery and the development of the city and its people through collaborative efforts and active citizenship.

Tumelo Mosikare registered the group after the Kimberley shutdown protests in 2018.

Mosikare explained that communication during the protest was done via WhatsApp but many fake messages were being circulated, causing mixed messages to be fed to the community.

“In order to eliminate groups with hidden agendas, I decided to start the Sol Plaatje Community Forum page on Facebook with the team who were involved with the 2018 protest action,” Mosikare explained.

“I registered the group on Facebook but it is administered by three of us. We started with 1,000 members and now have over 47,000 members. It’s too much for one person to handle.”

He said that not all posts are accepted as some are political and do not comply with the group rules. Posts that are pertinent to the community are posted immediately – mostly regarding service delivery issues.

“The group transitioned from community members assisting each other with medical, family and other social-related issues, to a full-on service delivery platform. We were using it to advertise businesses, which did very well but had to stop as it was getting out of hand.’’

Mosikare giggled when questioned about the latest trend on the group’s page, saying that some of the comments are just funny and entertaining.

It all started when Patricia Jenkins asked a simple question on Tuesday. “Why does Homelite and Roodepan not receive load shedding?”

This post received over 100 comments from members, some asking what stage of load shedding the area was experiencing while others noted that the area is at high risk for cable theft, which leaves residents without electricity for 12 to 24 hours.

Tumi Tumza said that Roodepan is “forgotten”, so no load shedding in the area is just a benefit for the residents.

Ronelle Steenkamp agreed with Tumza, saying: “You can say that again. Strange enough that only voting time residents are remembered.”

Another member, Ela B Boane, teasingly said, “Maybe it’s bcos my mom stays in Roodepan.” Tessa Mrsdpyle replied with, “She is a blessed woman, tell them.”

Tweet De-Kay said: “Because they don’t overuse electricity, they like making fire … they even cook on it.”

Some members agreed while others replied with laughing emojis.

Bevin Moshutli added: “We will literally shut down the entire Kimberley if that happens, so I guess it’s fear.”

“I was wondering why I never heard anyone from Roodepan complaining (about load shedding),” Mpho Moheta wrote.

Nico Ross took a political angle, writing, “They are the voters keeping the ANC in power. Why would the ANC p*** them off.”

The comments then turned to Homelite, where Reon Petersen commented, “Homelite is a low grid area, we don’t use too much electricity.’’

Noel Lingham said that should there be load shedding, he believes the cables would be stolen. Some of the members laughed at this.

Desiree Nel added that Homelite is not a hot spot and “Eskom only messes where there are hot spots”.

With all the comments regarding no load shedding in Roodepan and Homelite, Thabo Phungstos responded to Patricia Jenkins’ original question with: “Why are you loud now. Ask us privately, you want the municipality to bring load shedding?”

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Thoko Riet said that Homestead was definitely affected by load shedding in the past while Roodepan wasn’t.

Riet added that the discrepancy was due to two reasons – whether it’s in the morning or evening, and they are considered crime hot spots so they are not frequently “shedded”.

“Beaconsfield, Herlear and Homevale are also included,” Riet said.

“Please bear in mind that when other areas are not shed, the stage and substation determine which areas need to be shed. But the ones I mentioned are mostly not shed due to them being crime hot-spot areas.”

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