Enraged residents take to streets

2018-05-03 06:01
Wag-’n-Bietjie residents blocked the entrance to Lwandle on Tuesday 1 May.PHOTO: velani ludidi

Wag-’n-Bietjie residents blocked the entrance to Lwandle on Tuesday 1 May.PHOTO: velani ludidi

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Incensed residents of Wag-’n-Bietjie informal settlement in Lwandle barricaded the entrance to the area with burning objects on Tuesday 1 May.

Fuming residents said they were tired of living in flooded houses after the heavy rainfall last Thursday (26 April).

When the City of Cape Town released a list of flooding hotspot areas, all the informal settlements in Strand were excluded from the list.

Siyolise Sifili, a mother of four, said she is tired of living in waterlogged shacks.

“Our electrical appliances and furniture have been damaged,” she said. “We tried talking to the ward councillor, but he only made promises. We are tired of just talking, while we continue to struggle.”

Residents also blame the nearby channel and stormwater drainage system, which they say fails to adequately drain the water. They claim it directs stormwater to their houses.

“They must cover that channel and put pipes underground, because every time it rains water comes from there to our houses,” said Sifili.

Some residents dug holes outside their shacks so that water could run into them. Motorists were forced to use other entrances to the area and some were frustrated, like Bongile Bhonongo.

“I understand the residents have grievances, but they should have tried a peaceful protest first – not burn things on the road, which will cost money to fix,” he said.

“These burnings create potholes that damages our cars. Now we are delayed too.”

Local councillor Jongidumo Maxheke met with residents and promised to get the municipality to attend to their grievances.

“The residents showed me many issues, including the stormwater system, channel and the toilets, which are not cleaned,” he said.

“There is no care from the municipality’s side, because they never commit funds to fix these issues when we table it. We still have a crisis in Masakhane informal settlement, which the municipality has not attended to.”

City Vision’s attempts to gain comment from Anda Ntsodo, Mayoral Committee member for Area East, were unsuccessful as messages sent to him were not answered at the time of going to print.


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