#LiveWireSA Ambassador diaries: Mondli Msani - Electricity infrastructure left incomplete

The contractor who left without completing the ifrastructure.

The contractor who left without completing the ifrastructure.

Thembelihle was finally granted the benefit of being the beneficiary of the most needed infrastructure (electric).


In  late 2014 the government implemented that all the informal settlements must get electric installations and Thembelihle automated to be one of the beneficiaries. Therefore the City Power was hosting the installations that are to done in Thembelihle. City Power hired 3 contractors after the bidding process. Tshepang electrical services, Akula & Maziya electrical services. Akula is the first contractor to begin the installation process followed by Tshepang a few months later. And Lastly Maziya came into place to hold the last section of the place.

Some material that the contractors have left behind.

Some material that the contractors have left behind.


Akula however seemed to be dragging feet in the installations process as its workload was always behind schedule compared to the contractors who came after . However their (Akula) infrastructure was carried out improper as they ignored some safety measures of installing the house hold cables. The placed the cable without the protection plastic bolt to protect the cables from getting cut. On the other hand Tshepang used the protection plastic bolts. The solar panels said to also supply households is only supplying streetlights. 

Some of the poles are missing electric wires.

Some of the poles are missing electric wires.

The contractor has left (Akula) an incomplete infrastructure behind. This is whereby we as community members suspect that Akula did not fulfill the tender specification specified on the bidding applications. Because the contractor left several streets without any streetlights installed. One of the street whereby the 2 areas that Akula and Tshepang work on meet. It is a street that mediate the boundary of the 2 contractors areas. That street has been left out with only one block  with street lights. The rest of the blocks around 19 are left with no streetlights at all. Making 95 % of the street to be dark at night. This is a street  known as a hot spot for thugs that loot people. Yet when looking at other sides there are large gaps between the streetlights whereby it makes dark spots at night while others light adequately. Thembelihle is left with such inadequacy of electric infrastructure with no knowledge of whether will it be rectified or will it be there for all eternity. 

The rest of the street in that direction has no street light making it a criminal hotspot.

The rest of the street in that direction has no street light making it a criminal hotspot.

All in all to wrap this up. It is clear that no transparency has been reflected to the community from the contractor. The local municipality did play their role of transparency by telling the community what are the specifications expected for us to receive from the contractor. Gas cylinders for us to use  as an alternative source of energy. Solar panels that are to supply households. And the electric meter in the normal electric supply source.  But residents can only confirm that they got only 1 item from what had been specified in the public meeting.

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#LiveWireSA The community of Mzondi takes a DIY approach to service delivery

Men digging up a hole in the process of cunstructing a toilet.

Men digging up a hole in the process of cunstructing a toilet.

The women in the community preparing a meal for everyone

The women in the community preparing a meal for everyone

Every Saturday morning, residents of Mzondi informal settlement get Grassroot notifications reminding them of their weekly meeting. The agenda is such meetings is usually development. It is decided here into how many groups they will be split into and and what will be the task of each individual group.

A completed, fully fucntional DIY toilet

A completed, fully fucntional DIY toilet

How residents typically divide themselves is these meetings is that the women cook for everybody in the community and look after the children. The men repair broken shacks and install pipes for water and sanitation and build functional, running toilets. The person to facility ratio is not ideal at this moment but the community has been making strides. Functioning taps and usable toilets have been installed thus far.

The community women preparing a meal

The community women preparing a meal

The community has plans for development in the future and have started implementing some of them, this includes a dirt road that has been carved out by flattening the surface on the area next to the settlement. Motorist from neighbouring Ivory Park have began using it as it an alternative from the often congested main road.

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#LiveWireSA citizen journalist training with Health- E

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On Tuesday, 19 September Grassroot hosted a LiveWire citizen journalist training session with the assitance of Health-E. Health- E is an award winning health news service that specializes in television and print. The aim was to improve the quality of the content that is being generated on the LiveWire platform.

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Gill Gifford, news editor at Health-E taught the participant to identify what kind of content is news and what kind won't generate interest among people at the publications. She also took the participants through the basic journalistic ethics. Masutane Modjadji, project manager at Health-E explained to participants about what it takes to be a citizen journalist and the types of stories one can write.

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You can use Grassroot to let the media know about anything that is happening within your vicinity by dialing *134*1994*411# or use the web app at :app.grassroot.org.za.

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#LiveWireSA Dali Mpofu informal settlement evictees, still without legal representation

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Residents of Dali Mpofu informal settlement, located between Section 7, Ivory Park and Extension 5, Tembisa were violently evicted by the Red Ant Security Relocation and Eviction Services (Red Ants) and the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) on May 22nd 2017. This eviction resulted in one fatality and several injuries. Residents have reported that apart from having their shacks demolished, some of their belongings, including money have been stolen. It is also alleged that the Red Ants chased the land occupiers into nearby homes and followed them inside people's yards then assaulted people with crowbars and mugged one of the residents, demanding her cellphone and cash. 

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Dali Mpofu informal settlement was first occupied in December 2016 in an EFF led effort. In January 2017, a non EFF splinter group occupied a different portion of the same stretch of land. After Dali Mpofu residents were evicted on May 22nd, another wave of evictions occurred on July 22nd and the court order to evict them was only obtained the following day on the 23rd of July. 

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A murder case has opened for the death of Simon Mabunda, whose assault by the red Ants was captured on camera. He met his untimely death a week later on May 31st. Compensation is also sought for the repatriation of his body back to his home country of Mozambique. Community activists seeking justice for Simon Mabunda and the evictees who pleaded with Metro Police and Red Ants for time to make alternative arrangements but instead had their shacks demolished the same day that they were told that they would have to leave, even though most had already left for work and were not around to safeguard their belongings during this ordeal are still without legal assistance.

Further reading:

http://www.groundup.org.za/article/man-dies-after-raid-red-ants/

http://www.groundup.org.za/article/red-ants-firing-rubber-bullets/  

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#LiveWireSA Thembelihle residents take initiative to curb road carnage

Community built road hump on Acapella street.

Community built road hump on Acapella street.

After several car accidents including school children in the daytime and some adults coming home from shopping and nights out, the residents of Thembelihle informal settlemet in Lenasia, south of Joburg have decided to construct humps on Acapella street and the perpendicular unnamed street. The ones on Acapella street are made of cement and have proven effective. On the other street, barriers were made of rocks to force vehicles to go through the street in a zig-zag fashion but motorists have started removing the rocks.

Cement was used to construct the road humps.

Cement was used to construct the road humps.

Barricades made on the street connected to Acapella. 

Barricades made on the street connected to Acapella. 

The community did take the matter up with the city in the latest Independent Development Plan (IDP) consultation. They were told that the budget to build road humps may be included in next year's plan. The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) promised to launch a road safety awareness campaign which is yet to commence.

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