Residents blame shack fires on lack of electricity

DENNILTON – Residents of Liberty Section in Dennilton outside Groblersdal within the Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality are accusing the local municipality of disservice in the area.

This after a shack fire ravaged the home and belongings of a 31 year-old man in the area on Tuesday, 12 January 2021 in the afternoon.

According to the residents, several of their attempts made over the years to get the local municipality to facilitate the area’s electrification process bore no fruits.

They claim that they made efforts in the past to engage the local municipality on the problem of lack of electricity in the area but their pleas remain unattended.

Samuel Mabowa, a resident whose shack burnt down, said if the municipality speedily attended to their predicament of lack of electricity, he would not have lost all he worked hard for in the fire that gutted his shack.

The residents said what troubled them most was the fact that areas at a stone throw away from theirs had electricity.

“I have been living in the area since 2002. We tried to get the local municipality over the years to get us electrified but all our efforts were unsuccessful and no one from the authorities has ever explained to us why we still have no electricity after so many years of pleading with them,” said Mabowa.

Mabowa said he left a primus stove on while cooking as he went out to fetch water because the area did not have access to running water.

“I went out for less than 30 minutes to fetch water. I was cooking and had left the primus stove on, having set it normally. I don’t really know what happened and when I got back I realized my shack was on fire,” said the unemployed father.

He said he needed help as he lost all his belongings in the blaze and was left with only the clothes he was wearing.

“My neighbours helped me put out the fire but due to fact that we don’t have access to running water here, the task was extremely difficult and when we managed to put it out, it was too late and all my belongings, including my children’s birth certificates were burnt. Now I don’t know how I am going to rebuild my shack because I am currently unemployed,” cried Mabowa.

Simon Makua, Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality Communications and Public Relations Manager, said the local municipality would send a team from its Disaster Management division to the affected family to see how they could offer help.

Makua added that the local municipality had not neglected the community but would see in the next financial year whether the area could not be covered within the electrification projects budget.

“We have not neglected the residents of the area. We have in the last financial year electrified some of the areas around the there,” concluded Makua.




Thapelo Motseo

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