Pakkisi residents demand services

2011-09-19 00:00

RESIDENTS of Pakkisi informal settlement in Copesville again blockaded the road with burning tyres to protest poor service delivery yesterday. The residents are calling for government officials to come and address issues including water, housing and roads in the area.

The area, consisting of mud and tin houses, is separated by the road from the formal brick houses.

Police again had to intervene after groups siding with area councillor Thandi Ndlovu and with her opponent threatened to clash. Community member Phewa Mbeki said since they voted in 1994, Pakkisi has not received services. He said water taps that were installed closer to their mud houses have since been moved down to the road side.

“People carry buckets and 25-litre containers down this slope to the tar road to fetch water. We see other areas around Maritzburg being developed and serviced, yet our area has not seen that. When there are jobs the councillor gives priority to friends, relatives and those who side with her. We want government officials to come and address this issue, as it is already out of control,” said Mbeki.

Another community member, who asked not to be named, said councillor Ndlovu has caused sour working relations among community leaders.

“She gives jobs to friends, relatives and members of the group that side with her. It is the same group that is now divided into two because some feel that she favours others. Look at our neighbours across the road, they have everything, big houses and all.

“Yet this councillor is failing to provide people with simple basic services. The ANC leadership decided to put this woman forward as a councillor against the will of the people and now she is messing things up,” said the member.

Ward councillor Ndlovu said she had nothing to say to The Witness.

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela said the Copesville issue has not come to his attention and that he can only comment once he has the facts.

Last weekend the same area erupted in protests when youths embarked on a chaotic service delivery protest. The group said they wanted jobs and electricity.

The Witness quoted ward Ndlovu saying services are coming to the people, and they should wait.

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