There are parts of South Africa that still have no electricity, the infrastructure doesn’t exist, and so their daily lives are very different from the rest of the country…
Ntsikeni, KwaZulu-Natal – It is almost a foreign thought that there are places in South Africa without electricity, but the sad fact is, this is a reality for many people living in rural parts of the country. Ntsikeni, a rural village on the outskirts of KwaZulu-Natal was one such area that lived in the darkness.
The lack of power was a great frustration for the population living there. Many times the community would protest for better service delivery, but the municipality just didn’t have the funds to work through the problem.
Yonela Mzozo, a driven Grade 12 learner, was one of the many community members who couldn’t fathom the lack of power in such a technically advanced society. For her, the frustration was more significant as she had moved to Ntsikeni from a very urbanised area. She had moved in with her mother, great comfort for the soul, only to be faced with the challenge of trying to complete her schooling with no electricity.
She felt like she had taken a step back, feeling suffocated by the loss of her cell-phone, internet, or television. She had to attempt her studies either by candlelight or by generator-powered lights – that is until the petrol ran out. “The struggle was real”, she says.
Teacher Zolani Tswane shared Yonela’s frustrations, saying that the lack of electricity meant that students couldn’t reach their fullest potential. He wasted so much time writing up lessons on the board and the students too, had to then copy the work into their school books. Hours of valuable learning time lost each day.
The lack of electricity also severely affected the few small businesses in Ntsikeni – Owen Jili’s tyre business being among them. In the days before electricity, it usually took him more than an hour to manually pump tractor tyres with a hand pump – something he experienced as highly unproductive and strained his body greatly.
The Umzimkhulu Municipality lacked the funds to supply Ntsikeni with electricity. With the town’s 1250 houses are spread out over a vast geographical area consisting of rough terrain, it would have taken them three years to supply everyone with electricity.
Thankfully, the municipality decided to approach the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) for assistance. Through this venture, the municipality was able to address the electricity issue in a shorter time period and bring much-needed relief to the community.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is a development finance institution that promotes economic and social development, growth and regional integration through infrastructure finance and development. The DBSA’s vision is for a prosperous region, free from poverty and dependency.
The entire community rejoiced the day the power was finally switched on. Since that day, the lives of everyone in the community have flourished. Owen’s business has finally taken off, and where it took him over an hour to service a customer before, it now takes only a few minutes. He has hope for his business and plans to grow it, something he never dreamed of doing before.
Yonela says her school work has improved and even though they lack a local library, she can access information for school via the internet on her phone now. She is also able to reconnect with the friends she left behind, making life seem less suffocating than it did before.
Teacher Zolani has gone above and beyond since the electricity was switched on. To make up for all the time lost, he now gives extra classes on weekends and after school. His pass rate has improved as well, where he always had a 100% pass rate, students are now thriving and achieving distinctions too.
Electricity, with the help of the DBSA, is powering Ntsikeni, and other rural communities, into a future which allows them to realise their full potential.
As part of the #SAINC nation-building initiative, DBSA is joining a network of purpose-driven brands to share stories of positive progress in South Africa. These stories are being featured across social media in small snippets, just like the one below, but you will also be able to watch the full-length features live on television. You will find the airing times below.
14 April 2019 – eTV Open News – 18:30
15 April 2019 – eTV Open News – 15:30
27 April 2019 – SABC 2 – 14:30
19 May 2019 – eTV – 12:00
Watch a snippet of the story below:
Good Things Guy has partnered with Regency Global and Official Brand South Africa to bring you stories of how corporates and individuals are helping build our incredible nation.This week we're taking a look at an incredible South African company that has invested in more local content than ever, creating jobs and inspiring future generations to explore film and television careers.It's people and organisations like this that help move us forward!#GoodThings #NationBuilding #SAINC
Posted by Good Things Guy on Saturday, 13 April 2019