Angry Delft Residents Still Waiting For Electricity Months After Moving Into New Homes

Scores of angry residents descended on the City’s Civic Centre on Wednesday, demanding that mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis help to connect their homes to the power grid.
Residents from Delft, Eindhoven, said they have been living without electricity since August last year, and were promised it would be installed in September, a month after they moved into their brand-new homes.
Community leader Shirley de Bruin said due to no electricity, they were forced to use paraffin, gas and candles, which were not safe.
“There are elderly and people with disability in our community, and having no electricity poses danger to them,” De Bruin said.
Resident Fransina Daniels, 94, was in her wheelchair when her fellow protesters sang struggle songs, shouting and demanding electricity.
Daniels said all that she wanted was light in her house. “As you can see, I am sick, I can’t even attend to my sickness at night, because it’s dark.”
De Bruin said they demand that all houses without electricity have electricity by no later than Friday.
Human settlements mayco member Malusi Booi said Eskom was responsible for the electrification of the units.
Booi said the City has installed all internal electricity connections, including plug points and light switches, inside the units.
However, Eskom provides the electricity supply to the units, as Delft is in an Eskom-supplied area.
“As the supply typically takes some time to be completed, as a matter of course, the City gives beneficiaries the option of moving in ahead of the completion of electrification by Eskom.
“This is to ensure the beneficiaries’ units do not become illegally occupied while the Eskom installations are awaited, or become vandalised and damaged, which would be to the extreme disadvantage of beneficiaries,” said Booi.
He said following a public meeting held on May 26, 2019, most beneficiaries for that housing project indicated that they preferred to move into their houses and that they would sign a letter of acceptance to indicate their agreement.
“The beneficiaries signed the letter of acceptance. They were informed that their electricity supply would be provided by Eskom as soon as possible, as it is responsible for bulk design and electrification,” Booi said.
He said beneficiaries were advised to take all necessary precautions when using alternative methods for cooking and keeping warm.
“The City has taken note of the concerns and will continue to do all it can to encourage the timeous completion of the process,” said Booi.
Eskom provincial spokesperson Kyle Cookson said Eskom would electrify the houses of the residents in Eindhoven.
Cookson said the electrification project would see about 221 houses receive electricity in a phased approach.
“The electrification of about 100 houses will commence before the end of February, with the remaining houses to receive electricity between April 1, this year and March 31, 2023,” said Cookson.
He said the project experienced a delay due to insufficient contracting capacity to commence with the work, but that had since been taken care of and the work would commence as planned.