Women take a stand by taking a seat

2015-09-02 06:00
ELDERLY women of Ward 18 and Ward 20 blockade the road opposite the Galeshewe Municipal Offices in protest. Sitting in the yellow chair is Sannah Nkosi (54) and Tumelo (4). Facing them are, from the left Sylvia Nicolas (60), Grace Vika (81), Mary Jos

ELDERLY women of Ward 18 and Ward 20 blockade the road opposite the Galeshewe Municipal Offices in protest. Sitting in the yellow chair is Sannah Nkosi (54) and Tumelo (4). Facing them are, from the left Sylvia Nicolas (60), Grace Vika (81), Mary Jos

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IZINYOKA (cable thieves) have again left Ward 18 (the greater No. 2) and Ward 20 (Thambo Square) residents swimming in sewerage.

This was highlighted by Daniel Lekoma, the acting mayor of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, during Wednesday’s (26/08) protest by residents of these wards.

The residents caught the attention of the municipality through a strategic protest whereby women between the ages of 54 and 95 years blockaded the road opposite the Galeshewe Municipal Offices in protest against an ongoing sewerage problem.

Rubbish was emptied onto the roads. The women put chairs in the middle of the road and sat there while waiting for the mayor.

Lekoma responded by saying that the sewerage leakages, that is mostly experienced in Mzimba Street, down to Thambo Square, are as a result of illegal sewerage installations by the community and cable theft at the sewerage pump station based in West End.

He said the station was meant to serve the community, but it continued to be stripped by cable thieves, which has caused great concern to the municipality.

Committing to cleaning up the mess on the same day, Lekoma promised to send engineers to inspect the situation and get the relevant officials to start working on it as soon as possible.

He called on the community to protect the pump station, as it is meant to serve the community.

“Since last year the pump station has been repeatedly stripped by cable thieves and we have been fixing it,” said Lekoma.

“This time we have again applied for a budget to fix it and we have received the money.

“Your concerns are among our daily bread-and-butter issues that do not need to have attention drawn to it by a blockading of roads. We are aware that there is a sewerage down-flow to Thambo Square and I am deeply sorry that it was not addressed properly. I will ensure that the relevant people do their jobs.”

Representatives of the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who were at the protest, continued to emphasise that the protest, which was meant to be a peaceful one, is not politically affiliated.

The acting mayor further encouraged residents to always take down the reference number when they reported anything on the toll-free number so that they could personally present it to the municipality when there was no action taken regarding their calls. That was in response to complaints that the toll-free municipal number that they were supposed to call, was of no use to them, as they did not get any response or that no action was taken thereafter.

Winnie Ngobeza, an ANC councillor of a neighbouring ward, promised Celeste van Rooi (33), whose yard was overgrown with weeds due to the sewerage in her yard, that the municipality would clean her yard and address the situation at the nearby drains that cause a health hazard to her family.

Van Rooi pleaded for a solution to be found, because she could no longer enjoy the comfort of her home.

“Whether you keep the door closed or open does not matter. That is why I leave my home all day and only return to sleep. But when I arrive, home is a nightmare all over again”

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