Tired ‘of living in the bush’

2012-02-07 00:00

SAYING they were tired of “living in the bush” and repeated empty promises from former mayors, the angry community of Ezinketheni near Copesville marched on the city hall yesterday.

They demanded to see Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela to hand him a memorandum with their grievances.

The Witness recently reported on illegal electricity connections in the area after the municipality had launched a campaign to disconnect the hot-wired cables. At the time community members said they had been forced to steal electricity because the municipality had failed to deliver basic services of electricity, water and sanitation in their area.

A spokesperson for the community, Sphamandla Nzama, read the memorandum to the mayor.

He said they were tired of living in the bush for more than 13 years.

“We have been given nothing but empty promises since the time of the former mayors Hloni Zondi and Zanele Hlatshwayo,” said Nzama.

“We are here to demand electricity, water, roads, toilets, housing and a clinic in the area because we have been promised all these basic services by your predecessors.

“We do not wish to crucify the current council due to empty promises made by the previous councils.”

He appealed to the mayor to urge the council to buy the land they live on. They were unable to get help from interested businesses who wanted to donate a community hall, but could not because it was private property.

Nzama said the community wanted the council to be aware of the conditions they live in so that their concerns could be incorporated into the integrated development programme (IDP).

They carried placards reading: “We are tired of going to bed on an empty stomach because water tanks did not arrive to give us water and we are tired of seeing livestock and people dying as a result of illegal electricity connections.”

Nzama said the community wanted answers from the council within two weeks.

Ndlela said this would be done.

He told the marchers: “Our new financial year will start on July 1, so this matter can only be dealt with in the 2012/13 financial year.”

The community members protested noisily when they heard the matter would be dealt with only after June, saying they thought it would receive immediate attention.

Democratic Alliance councillor Jay Singh said he had warned the stakeholders about the matter and there was nothing more he could do because it was the ANC that had made the promises that the community was holding the council to.

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