- Andile Mngxitama has decided to throw his weight behind the Soweto power saga
- The Black First Land First leader insists that the community has the right to free electricity
- This comes as residents marched against Eskom clamping down on non-payers and illegal connections
Soweto residents have got a new political figure backing their bid to negotiate special rates with Eskom.
Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama has joined their movement, adamant that the community has the right to free electricity.
The angered residents had taken to the streets, explaining that striking was their only option because it was the only way to get the government to take notice.
Briefly.co.za reported that the protest action, under the banner of Soweto Shutdown, had failed to garner much support from the community.
But it did catch the eye of Mngxitama, who addressed the issue in his blog, commenting that:
“Free electricity is a right and we must get it without paying for it. If you argue for affordability, then you will be saying that people must not get these rights. If you start from the premise of costs, then you’ll say people don’t have rights.”
The politician argued that the 'fools' who insist power should be paid for didn't realise that 90% of the energy comes from coal:
“People don’t know that there’s no manufacturer of coal, it’s a God-given product. You just go and take it out of the ground. God has given you coal for free. Just like if you move to clean energy, being solar and air — these things are for free."
However holy coal may or may not be as a resource, Eskom has clamped down on the community that collectively owes the cash-strapped state-owned entity over R18 billion.
In a bid to promote payment and an end to illicit connections, the power utility has started disconnected homes, prompting the protest action.
Eskom estimates that around 60% of the households in the densely populated region are illegally connected to the grid.
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