South Africa: Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela and the Executive Council have descended to Phuthaditjhaba, QwaQwa, a vast rural town in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality.
Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality is one of the many embattled municipalities in the province, plagued by a plethora of service delivery challenges, one of them being high unemployment.
In addition to the thorny issue of unemployment, deepening poverty and inequality, the municipality confronts serious challenges of water scarcity and electricity provision, which makes it difficult to grow the local economy and create sustainable employment.
Premier Ntombela has heeded the call by the Business Community Development Association (BCDA) in Maluti-a-Phofung to have a frank and open discussion on the prevailing electricity changes hampering the livelihoods of the community and the economic growth and development of the area, particularly the Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
“Persistent power cuts have resulted in massive production loss in various industries, subsequently leading to shedding of thousands of jobs. Over 11000 jobs have been lost due to lack of water and electricity provision since 2016 and ultimately the closure of many businesses ” Mr Suren Ranjith.
“We have a fundamental task of improving the lives of our people irrespective of their political affiliation. I have brought the entire team to make sure we leave here with a lasting solution for the benefit of our people. Electricity challenges will be a thing of the past. A solution has been found, and timelines have been set” Premier Sisi Ntombela addressing Business Community Development Association in Phuthaditjhaba.