Kuvukiland gets electricity at last

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Tsumeb

Tsumeb’s biggest and fastest growing informal settlement commonly called Kuvukiland has partly received electricity, the CEO of Tsumeb, Archie Benjamin, has confirmed.

“Kuvukiland has received electricity – the first part has already received electricity and about 350 households now have power,” he said

Earlier this year residents at the shanty town raised concern over the increase in crime as criminals took advantage of unlit streets to attack and assault people at night.

Although not every household has electricity those that have received are very pleased and are simply elated to have their homes electrified.

New Era visited a few homes that received electricity. Although many were reluctant to speak, a jovial Josephine Neises said she was very happy they finally have electricity although they have not yet been connected.

“At least it’s a step towards making life better. I am so happy – during the night when I went to the toilet it was very unsafe as it was dark,” said Neises.

Neises also said in the past many women were raped but couldn’t identify the criminals because it was difficult to see clearly in the dark.

Benjamin could not say when exactly the remaining parts of the settlement would get electricity. The piece of land on which the shanty town is located initially belonged to Weatherly Mine, and Benjamin confirmed the mine handed over the land to the municipality.

Benjamin assured residents that existing access roads would be improved to allow vehicles to move through the settlement in the quest to curb crime as most criminals use the settlement as a hideout where they seek refuge after committing their criminal acts.

According to Benjamin the municipality has installed and evenly distributed about seven standpipes in Kuvukiland which people use to get water.

It is believed all water points are in a good working order and adequate although long queues are observed during peak times.

Kuvukiland sprang up on April 15 2009 when people planted a pole on the hill as a beacon of their intention to stay in the area as they were tired of paying rent in Soweto which was said to be overcrowded at the time.

They started clearing the area to the northwest on the mine’s land and moved there with their families to be more independent. 

On November 10 2009 the municipality started allocating plots to some of the residents.  Other sections mushroomed soon afterwards, which the municipality could not stop.

Kuvukiland  has grown to 7 000 people, according to a survey conducted last November by the Tsumeb Municipality. People flock to the town in search of  jobs.

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