MEC Scott expresses her concerns over unserviced areas

2018-10-10 06:02
PHOTO: suppliedMEC Belinda Scott engaging with residents.

PHOTO: suppliedMEC Belinda Scott engaging with residents.

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KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for Finance, Belinda Scott, who is also the uMgungundlovu District Political Champion, has warned that taking government services only to affluent areas and leaving out areas like Jika Joe in Msunduzi Municipality behind was a cause for concern.

While pledging a decisive government intervention, Scott expressed her concerns to local councillor Nkululeko Mkhize during a community engagement in Sobantu where she addressed residents from ward 33 and 35.

Scott’s visit to Sobantu and Jika Joe, downtown Pietermaritzburg, formed part of the cabinet operation, Sukuma Sakhe programme, last Wednesday.

Among the five areas under ward 33, Jika Joe — which is mostly made up of informal settlements — is the poorest and least serviced.

“Councillor, you must not prioritise only those areas that are affluent,” said Scott.

The MEC expressed her disappointment with the lack of services that continue to beset Jika Joe, which has endemic challenges including social ills, litter, non-removal of refuse, lack of water and electric supply, educational and health facilities.

The MEC said she did not want to come to Jika Joe again and be confronted with the same situation. She said she was now taking the issue to a higher level.

“We need to develop this area and it’s urgent. I am looking at forming a high-level task team comprising of health, education, social development municipality and Home Affairs. There’s a huge problem here and we really need to improve the quality of life,” she said.

Scott was worried about housing issues as well, especially foreign nationals who could not get on the housing list. She was also expressed concern about young mothers who come from rural areas and resort to prostitution in order to feed their children.

“If they go to school they will go hungry,” she said.

Scott was, however, proud of the many successes of Operation Sukuma Sakhe which has seen many war-rooms stabilised in the district and functioning at an optimal level.

UMgungundlovu District has seen various MEC’s, the premier and heads of departments rolling up their sleeves to clean dirty streets and illegal dump sites in the townships, inspecting communal gardens, and checking progress on various infrastructure work that is under way in many of the communities visited. — Supplied.

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