Ultimatum to meet, if not, riots

2019-01-31 06:21
Cyril Ramaphosa informal settlement leaders, from left Mkhulu Shumana, Zusimanye Mbala, Qengeba Mxutu, Babalwa Siswana, Nodumo Luthi and Themba Fandesi have threatened to take to the streets if the City fails to provide the area with services.                                     PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Cyril Ramaphosa informal settlement leaders, from left Mkhulu Shumana, Zusimanye Mbala, Qengeba Mxutu, Babalwa Siswana, Nodumo Luthi and Themba Fandesi have threatened to take to the streets if the City fails to provide the area with services. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Residents at the Cyril Ramaphosa informal settlement in Philippi, have vowed to take to the streets if a meeting with City officials-planned for tomorrow, Friday- doesn’t yield any credible results.

They moved into the area in June 2018, and have been calling for the City to provide basic services.

The inhabitants, who use Govan Mbeki Drive as their main route, which is situated next to Hazeldean, are more than 400 families. They say they have had numerous meetings with Ward 80 Councillor Nkululeko Mgolombane and City officials from the Fezeka municipal offices regarding their plight, which demands have fallen on deaf ears. The area has no flushing toilets or electricity.

They use nearby bushes to relieve themselves and source water from across the street.

“Last week Thursday we had a meeting with a City official to raise our demands and he promised that we will have a meeting on 1 February with other City officials to address our grievances,” said community leader Babalwa Siswana.

Siswana said all they want are temporal toilets and communal taps while they are waiting for the City to buy the land.

She added that since there are no toilets, they have had to respond to the call of nature in a nearby forest, while others stuff their night soil in plastic bags and then dump those anywhere.

She said the conditions were appalling.

“At least eight people have been hit by cars trying to cross the main road-since our arrival (here) - on their way to fetch water. Our children get sick because they play in the rubbish, we want the communal taps to be installed along the road.”

Themba Fandesi, another resident and community leader emphasised that no political party will be allowed to canvass for votes in Ramaphosa.

“Parties will come here as if they have mercy on us, whereas(all) they want is our votes,” said Fandesi.

Mngolombane also confirmed that the residents have been engaging with him demanding service delivery.

“Tomorrow(Friday) we will have a meeting with the leadership of Ramaphosa together with City officials ... then(we) will take it from there,” he said.

Xolani Joja, from the City’s Department of Human Settlement, said the meeting on Friday will only be between officials from the City’s Water and Sanitation and Human Settlement departments, with regards to the plight of all informal settlements in the metro.

“But there will be a meeting between Ramaphosa residents, MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela and Malusi Booi, the City’s mayoral committee for Human Settlements.”

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