Residents’ big screen TV demand

2010-06-16 00:00

ANOTHER group of Jika Joe informal settlement residents barricaded a nearby street yesterday afternoon — demanding facilities to watch the World Cup.

This group lives in the plastic, mud and plank housing area of the settlement. Their area is across a stream from the Jika Joe prefabs area, whose residents recently got a temporary power supply to connect TVs for the soccer tournament.

“This is an historic event and our children have to see it. What will our children say about it in the future?” said resident Remaketse Matubatuba.

Msunduzi Municipality traffic and security officials and the police intervened when the residents blocked Manning Road with stones, concrete poles, rubbish and tree branches. This all began at about 11 am.

It is alleged that teargas and rubber bullets were fired and some people were assaulted by the police.

At the Tatham Memorial Sport Ground, at about 3 pm, residents gathered and demanded to speak to senior municipal officials.

Although he does not yet have a child, Matubatuba said it is important that children whose parents cannot afford to live in better areas watch the tournament.

“Possibly this is the first and the last chance for South Africa to host the World Cup,” he said.

The residents said the municipality should either provide them with temporary electric power or a big TV screen to watch the matches.

“Or they should bring back our electricity wires, which they recently confiscated, so that we can continue stealing power from our neighbours [in formal houses],” said Lucky Khuzwayo.

“Anyway, prior to the World Cup Mike Tarr came here to convince us to stop stealing electricity and promised us a big TV screen, which he said was going to be placed at the Tatham Memorial Sport Ground,” he added.

Thobeka Ndlovu said: “We cannot go to fan parks because we have young children.”

“If we do not get electricity or a big screen by 2 pm tomorrow we will barricade the N3. Right now we do not know who scored a Bafana Bafana goal when they played against Mexico. We have to watch our team tomorrow,” said another resident.

Patrick Radebe of the municipality’s security said police and municipal security officers were still busy removing residents who were blockading Manning Road at about 5 pm.

Deputy Mayor Jabu Ngubo said the municipality cannot afford a big screen.

“I don’t think the mayor had promised them a big screen. If that was the case it would have to be discussed in the Exco meetings.

“[Electricity process manager] Maxwell Mthembu said technically it was impossible for those people to get electricity,” said Ngubo.

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