Residents in a ‘pigsty’

2020-02-13 06:04
Rubbish at Zwelitsha informal settlement in Samora Machel. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Rubbish at Zwelitsha informal settlement in Samora Machel. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Walking into Zwelitsha informal settlement, in Samora Machel, you will be forgiven for thinking you are walking into a rubbish depot.

Streets are littered with rubbish, the entire neighbourhood is a breeding ground for flies and an unbearable stench greets from a distance.

According to residents the area has not been cleaned for more than two months.

Resident Nontsikelelo Cosa described the area as filthy. “We are living in a pigsty. The City doesn’t care about us,” she claimed. She added they had a company that worked in the area before the end of last year, but they did not return at the start of this year. “We don’t know what happened because they just disappeared,” said Cosa.

Cosa added she is worried about the children and their health. She added that most residents already suffer from tuberculosis (TB) and asthma. “Our children suffer from diarrhoea and ringworms. The whole area stinks and has dirty water,” she stated.

Cosa cited the shortage of temporary toilets and communal taps as another challenge. She said they’ve been waiting long for new houses. “We’ve been staying here for more than a decade and nothing is happening. We know that next year is local government elections and politicians will be campaigning promising us everything. They won’t come here (Zwelitsha),” she said.

Like residents in other informal settlements, she said they are weighing their options in order to force authorities to respond.

Ward 88 councillor Siphiwo Nqamnduku said the City is aware of the situation in Zwelitsha. “I did a site visit in October last year with the City officials. They vowed to send trucks to clean the area but they never did,” he said.

Nqamnduku said about 217 households are expected to be relocated to Woodlands in Mitchell’s Plain. “The City has already started to install underground infrastructure. But I’m not sure when will construction start,” he said.

The City of Cape Town had not responded at the time of going to print.

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