By Iviwe Haarmans
Residents of Ward Two have collected almost R4500 to purchase solar-powered LED lights in an effort to stop cable theft that happens at night, during load-shedding.
The residents, along with the ANC ward councillor for the area, Rami Xonxa, took the decision to collect the funds after an entire electrical box was stripped of its contents on the night of 17 February.
The cable theft plunged the neighbourhood into darkness for four days, as a whole network of connections had to be rebuilt from scratch under rainy conditions. Grocott’s Mail reported at the time that the community had decided to buy its own floodlights. The plan was for the floodlights to be installed on the houses nearest to each electricity supply box to prevent any future cable theft during load-shedding.
Sipho Zono, owner of Sizo Media was appointed project manager by the community and the solar floodlight installation got underway quickly.
At a meeting on 22 March 2023, residents held further discussions about how many lights would be distributed to each street and where the lights would be placed. Residents also raised their discontent with the number of gunshots that they say they often hear in close proximity to their households.
Xonxa expressed his gratitude to the Thatha community for banding together at such a dire time. “It pleases me to know that the community is embracing Ubuntu, as this is a clear sign that we can achieve so much if we are willing to lend a helping hand to one another. I hope this project can act as a stepping stone not just for Makhanda, but one that all communities could apply in the future”, Xonxa said.
Zono said the ultimate goal of the project would be to supplement the lights, especially during load-shedding, while also bringing a sense of safety to the community of Thatha. “As the project is ongoing, we look forward to continuing to accumulate funds. We want to implement this project throughout the whole of Thatha”, Zono said.
(Haarmans is an intern with Grocott’s Mail and with Sizo Media, owned by Sipho Zono).