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New Sub-Station to Provide More Electricity

Mar 28, 2008 - energycentral.com

Mthatha, South Africa Mar 28, 2008 -- All Africa Global Media

By providing electricity in rural areas, income and jobs will be created, says Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica. Speaking at the official opening of the Hillcrest Sub-Station in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, on Thursday, Ms. Sonjica said government's intention was not just to provide energy resources, but also to ensure that people's lives were improved, especially women and children from rural areas.

"The use of resources to provide services for transformation and governance of minerals and energy sector for economic growth and development while improving quality of life remains our core objective," said Minister Sonjica. She said she was aware that most of rural women's lives involve collecting firewood, fetching water and walking long distances before any meaningful domestic activity can take place. "This is unacceptable. We need to ensure that women's aspirations and rights are elevated as a priority on the national agenda."

She said it was crucial to address challenges of poverty, underdevelopment and marginalization confronting those caught within the second economy. "Our government will spare no breath to keep Mthatha alive by serving our people and, in particular, the rural masses to the best of our ability," the minister said.

Ms Sonjica said other developments, in Mthatha, such as Mandela Park, Chris Hani and Joe Slovo Park had 3000 houses supplied with electricity since 2000 and power was currently being implemented in the existing 2000 households. "We have just opened a satellite office here in Mthatha as a demonstration of our commitment to make government services accessible to communities."

"I want to encourage all of you to raise your concerns as well as to report cases of illegal mining, which I am informed is a problem in this area so that we can respond swiftly," she said.

On the electricity issue, the minister assured South Africans that government was doing its best in dealing with the current energy crisis. "We want to encourage municipalities, businesses, households and other stakeholders to fully engage and participate in the national energy conservation initiatives," Minister Sonjica said.

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