The change in lived experiences of Mpame Village households using solar photovoltaic electricity

dc.contributor.authorTokosi, Ola
dc.descriptionA thesis submitted in fifty percent partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master’s in Management in Public and Development Management, for the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, 2021en_ZA
dc.description.abstractElectricity and the ability to access it enables heating and lighting for domestic use, and for mechanical, electrochemical and electronic requirements. The purpose of this study was primarily to assess and understand the changes in lived experiences of Mpame village residents after solar photo-voltaic (PV) electricity installations in 2014. The study problem sought was to identify and understand the inability of residents to access electricity from the national grid after twenty-five years of democratic government in South Africa. The constitution guarantees electricity access as a human right for all citizens and all who live within its borders. The government had in 1994, as part of its political campaign promises, suggested ‘Free’ electricity as a dividend of democracy if voted into power. Electricity access using solar photo-voltaic (PV) installations was achieved in 2014, that incidentally was an election year. By October 2019 when this study was undertaken, Mpame village literally had returned to darkness, as a result of non-replacement of the batteries at their end-of-life stage. The secondary purpose of this study was to ascertain who takes responsibility for the project’s sustainability. Battery replacement is essential and pivotal to the success of this strategy and, also ensures the sustainability of electricity access as a human right. A qualitative research methodology approach was used. Data was collected by conducting face-to-face interviews with household heads or representatives who have resided in Mpame village at least two years before and two years after the installations were completed and commissioned. The findings indicate that the residents have a positive perception of government’s effort at enabling electricity access and the upholding of their human rights. The implication of the state of non-functionality is that the village is now in darkness, with concerns raised about the sustainability of the strategy to support sustainable livelihoods strategy. The true intentions of government is under question, creating suspicion and worry about service delivery, an increased fear of vulnerability, a decreased sense of safety and security and a concern of losing out on development opportunities. Considering that there is a strong correlation between electricity access and development, no modern activity like industrialization, daily life, transportation, communication, cooking, heating the home and benefits from cultural activities can occur in Mpame. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that government should assume responsibility to replace the solar batteries at their end-of-life stage or else get grid electricity installed in Mpame village for the residents to enjoy their constitutional human rightsen_ZA
dc.facultyFaculty of Commerce, Law and Managementen_ZA
dc.rights.holderUniversity of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg
dc.schoolWits School of Governanceen_ZA
dc.subjectMpame village
dc.subjectSolar photo-voltaic
dc.subject.otherSDG-7: Affordable and clean energy
dc.titleThe change in lived experiences of Mpame Village households using solar photovoltaic electricityen_ZA
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