Kranskop ... where time has stood still

2017-09-20 06:01
Kranskop’s main street during last Wednesday’s protest.

Kranskop’s main street during last Wednesday’s protest.

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TIME has not only stood still for Kranskop residents – its gone backwards. This is the opinion expressed by the town’s ratepayers triggered by a service delivery protest last Wednesday by residents in Unit 19 informal settlement who had been obtaining electricity by illegally tapping into a transformer in the industrial area, but because of the volume of these illegal connections, the transformer blew.

Residents, under the impression that Umvoti Municipality was providing this service and should therefore restore it, brought Kranskop to a halt barricading the main road with burning tyres, bricks, concrete rubbish bins, rubbish, etc. They went on the rampage trashing street vendors’ stalls and forced all businesses to close.

Kranskop and Greytown Police personnel were on the scene and the Pietermaritzburg Public Order Police were brought in to disperse the angry crowd.

This protest incited Kranskop ratepayers and “formal” residents to once again make public their “service delivery” problems, which they say, have been brought to the attention of the municipality over the years, but no action has been taken to upgrade the services.

It is now 2017 and ...

• There is no sewerage system – ratepayers (and residents) have pits in their yards - businesses have installed toilets at their own expense.

• Water is shut off from 10pm to 4am daily.

Residents say there is a shortage and the arrival of more consumers in the informal settlements has aggravated the shortage, but there are four new boreholes, plus a reservoir, which have not been put into operation.

• Back and side roads are still gravel as they have been for 100 years.

• There are no pavements.

• Despite the lack of these necessary services home owners state that the rates are ridiculously high in relation to what the municipality provides.

In addition, ratepayers have submitted a signed petition to the Umvoti Municipal Manager requesting that immediate action be taken to clear the “new” illegal settlement which, in the past few weeks, has been set up off the Spoornet road creating further major health, waste, security issues, etc.

Umvoti Municipality released a statement, issued by “sqcommunications”, on its behalf, stating that municipal officials were engaging with the public on the housing, water, sewerage and electricity concerns and that “the municipality is also in liaison with the Umzinyathi District Municipality that is the administrative driving force for the mentioned services”.

 

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