There is nothing around here - Marikana youth

2016-07-22 14:01
A young woman sells chicken feet in Marikana. (Wim Pretorius, News24)

Rustenburg - Every few years politicians pitch up in Marikana and make countless promises, but never deliver on any of them.

This is how Gabisile Khanyile, a security guard in Marikana near Rustenburg in the North West, feels about the situation in her town.

Khanyile, 25, was born and bred in Marikana and if she can, she'll stay there for the rest of her life.

"This is my home," Khanyile says proudly. But she feels the area is certainly not without its faults.

Having political parties who want to contribute to bettering living conditions for locals instead of making empty promises is something Khanyile feels could make a big difference.

"The political parties could do more. They could try more to be with us, like coming to us and asking what we need, but they don't do that. The only time you get to see them [political parties] is like right now with the voting. After this they are gone. Maybe we'll see them again in five years coming to tell us they'll do this or that for us and they do nothing really. Even where we are living it's not good."

According to the 25-year-old, she doesn't know who her councillor is as she has never seen them.

Queuing from 04:00 

She says the only two working opportunities for locals are to be employed by the mines and the Bapo Ba Mogale royal family.

"Most of the things in the area need changing, like each and every resource. There is nothing. Sports grounds, libraries, parks, there is nothing around here. Even the ground belongs to the mine."

The local clinic is a major concern for Khanyile who says that people start queuing outside the building from as early as 04:00. The clinic’s doors only open at 8:00.

"A lot of times you leave there without getting any help after being there the whole day."

James Masilo, 25, a friend of Khanyile who also lives in the area, told News24 that he feels it is only the royal family in the area that tries to better the lives of residents.

"For me [it feels like] the royal family is trying a lot [to help the youth]. They are bringing opportunities for us. Even when you look around here, it's youth here. As for mines, they could do more."

In 2015 ANC councillor Fundisile Nqinelo was fatally shot in Marikana by a group of armed men. The motive for the attack remains unclear.

In 2012 Marikana made international headlines following the shooting deaths of 34 miners at the hands of police.

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