Gogo’s miserable life without electricity

78 year-old Veronica Jacobs holding a primus stove and a candle. Photo: Ramatamo wa Matamong.

After 22 years of democracy she feels betrayed and denied her most basic right.
She is 78 years old, stays alone, and most of all without electricity for years. This is the story of Gogo Veronica Jacobs of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg. She said for countless times she tried appealing to the powers that be to connect her to this basic service but her attempts were fruitless. Though her room is neatly wired, there is no electricity flowing into it.

“I used candles for lights and Primus stove to cook. I can’t tell you how many times I have to change my curtains because of the smoke coming from the Primus stove. I wonder what sin I did to live like this,” she said agonisingly.

She said she reported the matter to City Power and also went to the Joburg Ombudsman and still no help was forthcoming  – only promises that have never materialised.
“They are only interested in my votes or maybe they want me to pay the bribe. I’m not prepared to do that,” she said.

When City Power was asked about the matter, Community Liaison Officer, Ernest Sepharatla said he is aware of the old lady’s plight and they are waiting for the budget from the City to roll out meter boxes in her area.

“These things take time. I can’t commit when will this happened,” he said.

The Ward 91 Councillor, Andrew Stewart said he spoke to City Power and they said Veronica needs to have a new distribution board installed as the current one in her room is faulty.

“They say they don’t have the new one in stock, as soon as they get it they’ll go and install it,” he said.

“I voted in 1994 hoping to get a better life, but now this is what I get,” she concluded sadly.

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About Ramatamo wa Matamong 15 Articles
Also known by his pen name as Ramatamo Wa Matamong, born in the Free State Province, he is an award winning community journalist in the Alexandra township who has covered numerous and extensive topical issues in the township ranging from sports, politics, arts, service delivery protests, strikes, health and economics.