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Mangaung promised uninterrupted power supply during elections

───   KEKELETSO MOSEBETSI 11:55 Mon, 27 May 2024

Mangaung promised uninterrupted power supply during elections | News Article
Centlec cooling towers in Bloemfontein, Photo: OFM News

“One of the primary concerns during this period is the high incidents of vandalism and theft targeting Centlec’s infrastructure.”

Centlec, Mangaung Metro’s power utility, has assured the public it will deliver uninterrupted electricity on election day and beyond to ensure a smooth voting process until the final vote is counted and results are announced.

The utility has allocated sufficient personnel and resources to key strategic points, including the Free State Results Operating Centre, said Lele Mamatu, Centlec spokesperson. This preparation is part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent any disruptions during the elections.

The initiative follows a special meeting convened by Centlec CEO Malefane Sekoboto, who met with managers from the entity and police representatives to discuss the necessary steps to support the IEC and ensure glitch-free elections in the province.

‘Special voting will continue until Tuesday’

Special voting started Monday morning (27/5) and will continue until Tuesday. Mamatu said one of the primary concerns during this period was the high incidents of vandalism and theft targeting Centlec’s infrastructure.

Recent reports from OFM News highlighted the theft of street lights and network cables, which have caused significant power outages and security issues in areas such as Botshabelo and Bloemfontein.

Notable incidents have occurred along the N8 route from the airport bridge to the Mahungra car wash, the M10 road to Lemo Mall in Bloemfontein, and various locations in Botshabelo.

Last week, three suspects were arrested for allegedly stealing cables in Bayswater.

In response to these challenges, Centlec has collaborated with the police to safeguard their infrastructure. Mamatu confirmed contingency plans are in place to address potential power outages, especially at voting stations, to ensure the electoral process is not compromised.

A total of 34 political parties, including newcomers Rise Mzansi and the uMkhonto weSizwe Party, are participating in the upcoming elections. In the 2019 provincial elections, the ANC secured 22 seats in the Free State, the EFF won four seats, the DA gained three seats, and the FF Plus two seats.

More than 1.5 million people have registered to vote in the Free State, with women constituting the majority at over 800,000 compared with just over 600,000 men. Mangaung boasts the highest number of registered voters in the province, with more than 420,000, followed by Matjhabeng with almost 200,000, and Maluti-a-Phofung in Qwaqwa with approximately 180,000 registered voters.

OFM News/Kekeletso Mosebetsi dg

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