''Taken from www.sowetan.co.za
21 October 2009
Canaan Mdletshe''

ENERGY Minister Dipuo Peters has assured rural residents of KwaZulu-Natal that her department will do anything to ensure that they benefitted and their lives changed for the better.

Peters was speaking at Ezingolweni on the South Coast yesterday at the launch of an illuminating paraffin stove pilot project.

The project will continue for three months and will be spread through the country if it proves to be a success.

“Rural development is a priority of the current government, which is why we have to come up with strategies that will ensure that rural areas are not left out in terms of development,” Peters said.

“We will not rest until people in shacks are out of them and until every child goes to school.

“We will not stop until every community has adequate access to healthcare facilities, until we have done away with diseases like tuberculosis and malnutrition, until pregnant women can deliver their babies without fear that they will die because of infrastructure shortages and until we are all aware of the dangers of HIV and Aids,” she said.

“For rural women waking up at 4am to collect wood must be a thing of the past. It is painful to see pregnant women carrying water or wood to support their families.”

About 150 poor women were given two-plate stoves and 10 litres of paraffin a per family, which they will be receiving for the next three months.

Peters said by providing paraffin stoves did not mean people would not get electricity.

One of the beneficiaries, Phyllis Nyawose, 62, was overjoyed.

“I am happy to be among the poor that have been identified and assisted.

“The stove and the paraffin will go a long way to helping my family enjoy the benefits of this government,” Nyawose said.