Electricity, water, sanitation and hygiene top the agenda for Jika Joe informal settlement residents ahead of next month’s by-election.Ward 33, which incorporates Manor, Church Street and Scottsville, will hold a by-election on August 2 following the resignation of DA councillor, Uraisha Haswell.The race to gain control of the ward has already started, with the ACDP, DA and IFP having put up posters. The DA and IFP have also held mini rallies in the area, where the IFP unveiled former DA councillor Peter Green as their candidate. The DA is set to unveil their candidate this weekend.Residents of Jika Joe said they hope the incoming councillor will prioritise electricity, water, sanitation and hygiene in the area.Illegal electricity connections are rife in the area and these connections have led to numerous devastating fires and electrocutions.“Electricity was promised to us many years ago and it has not been delivered yet. Life is difficult without electricity. Many children have been electrocuted because of illegal connections,” said Siboniso Mhlongo, one of the residents.The illegal connections have also raised the ire of the nearby residents in Village who have complained that illegal connections in the informal settlement led to power outages in the entire area. “There have been many standoffs between Jika Joe residents and Village residents because of these illegal connections. Gun shots have been fired during these standoffs, that is why we are saying the municipality and incoming councillor needs to move with speed to address this issue,” he said.Sibongile Khumalo, a resident, complained that illegal dumping was rife in the area. “This exposes our children to all sorts of germs because there is dirt everywhere. I no longer allow my children to go and play outside because I am scared that they will catch germs.“The municipality needs to sort out refuse collections, otherwise more and more people will continue to feel sick,” she said.Khumalo said the municipality needed to attend to issues of sanitation and water in the area. “The communal taps are few and are far apart. “It is very difficult when we need to do washing because we have to go far to fetch water,” she said.