Protests due to lack of service

2018-04-25 06:02
A joint press briefing was held by, from the left, councillors Shane Griqua (DA), Frances Thulo (EFF) and Rosie Ludick (Cope).Photo: Boipelo Mere

A joint press briefing was held by, from the left, councillors Shane Griqua (DA), Frances Thulo (EFF) and Rosie Ludick (Cope).Photo: Boipelo Mere

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The gist of the problem surrounding the current spate of protest actions in the Sol Plaatje Municipality and the country is pinned on factionalism in the government and within municipalities.

This view was expressed by members of the DA, EFF and Cope on Friday (20/04) when they appealed to the government to provide adequate services to its people.

A joint press briefing, led by councillors Shane Griqua (DA), Frances Thulo (EFF) and Rosie Ludick (Cope), was held by the three opposition parties to challenge the government for its empty promises.

“People have become fed up about their living conditions. The time has come for the ANC government to take the people’s concerns seriously,” they said.

Although they sympathise with frustrated communities, the councillors condemned looting and the destruction of state institutions and property.

They called on all councillors to take responsibility and find solutions for service delivery issues.

Elements of criminality that have resulted in corruption, robberies and violence were also strongly condemned.

“It simply does not add up. People take to the streets and ignore the existence of their ward councillors, then complain about their circumstances. Councillors often call meetings only to have a handful of people show up.”

According to Ludick, council meetings are crucial to adjust budgets to best suit the people and ensure that their basic needs are met.

“The Department of Cooporative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) also needs to explain why the Lerato Park housing development is standing still, and when it will provide housing for our people who have been living in shacks for a long time,” she said.

“Shacks are not there because the people wanted them to be there. They are there because politicians gave them the land, knowing very well that there are no basic services. That is why we are sitting in this current situation.”

Griqua recommended a land audit in order to determine what land is owned by the municipality.

“That land audit will help us to set up proper formal settlements for each of the wards, which will allow a number of residents to go and live in these areas,” he said.

“We need to formalise settlements because we have too many backyard dwellers in our communities.

“We see elderly people being cramped into one old municipal house with their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildrenthat gave birth to their children and have grandchildren and great grandchildren all cramped in an old municipal house build by the apartheid government.”

Touching on the lack of the availability of land, Thulo pointed out that the little percentage of land owned by the municipality is a challenge, as most of it belongs to the private sector.

“We are calling on the municipality to go back to the drawing board with our people on that issue,” he said.

According to Thulo, the current infrastructure challenges faced by communities are due to the old infrastructure.

“The apartheid government did not expect Kimberley to grow as it has.

“That is why residents are faced with structural problems such as flooding during heavy rainfall,” he said.

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