Gugs residents ‘gatvol’

2018-07-26 06:00
Ramaphosa residents fetch water and do their washing on the site of the projected housing development for Gugulethu backyarders. The land occupiers have infiltrated the water system by digging trenches, thus exposing the pipes needed for their operations..PHOTO: Unathi obose

Ramaphosa residents fetch water and do their washing on the site of the projected housing development for Gugulethu backyarders. The land occupiers have infiltrated the water system by digging trenches, thus exposing the pipes needed for their operations..PHOTO: Unathi obose

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Gugulethu residents say they have had enough of shack dwellers who are bent on destroying infrastructure just so they can “have a better life”.

Three weeks ago, land occupiers in Ramaphosa razed the Gugulethu Fire Station during a service delivery protest.

Recently, they have been spotted digging trenches on erf 844, which is meant to build affordable houses for backyarders from Gugulethu and Nyanga East.

The trenches expose water pipes, from which they extract water for household use and washing.

The site is on the stretch of Landsdowne Road straddling Gugulethu and Nyanga East.

Eunice Mbalu (53), from the area adjacent to the project, says: “What these shack dwellers are doing is worrisome, because what they are doing is totally wrong. They can’t come from other areas and commit crime here.

“They belong in Philippi and the area that they are fetching water from is in Gugulethu. I would understand if they were asking, and not just dig the underground pipes.”

Mbalu says she is concerned about the amount of water wastage seeing that the province has a water crisis­.

“These people leave the water running, sometimes they don’t close the pipes. And that land was upgraded for our backyarders in Gugulethu. These people must stop what they are doing,” she says.

However, Nobesuthu Mnukwa refuted the claims that they are trespassing the area, claiming that theirs was an innocent act of survival. “We are not stealing from anyone, but fetching water.

“Everyone knows that we don’t have communal taps or toilets. If we want to relieve ourselves, we dig holes or use a bucket and discard it at night,” says the mother of two children.

Mnukwa (32) is adamant that they will continue using the water because they don’t have any other options. Mbalu said by using vandalism to obtain short term goals, the occupiers were delaying their chance of obtaining decent housing.

Ward 38 councillor Luvuyo Zondani said he is aware of the shack dwellers’ plight.

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