Disabled man fetches water with a bucket tied to his crutches

2016-08-27 08:42

Durban - To fetch water, Simon Chonco has to tie a 20 litre container to his crutches with wire and walk an hour to a river. He has little hope that his pleas for a house with running water and electricity will be heard.

Chonco, 59, lives in Egoqweni, in ward 11 of the Msunduzi municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.

Chonco can’t speak properly and sometimes cannot not hear at all. He writes down what he wants to say. He is epileptic.

Simon Chonco has to walk for an hour on crutches to fetch water from the river. (Ntombi Mbomvu, GroundUp)

He lives alone in a one-roomed metal shack, far from other residents. His single room has a bed with a pile of blankets, a bench, and several empty water containers. The floor is dusty.

He says he has been living in Egoqweni for six years.

Chonco voted in the August 3 local government elections, but not for ANC councillor Sipho Madonda. Madonda, the sitting councillor, won with 77.45% of the votes cast, down from 88.7% in 2011.

“He has not been of help to me since I have been a resident," Chonco said of Madonda.

No water, no electricity

"We have no water and no electricity. I want a better house, but because he is never available I’m clueless about what to do in order for me to get a proper house. I survive through the mercy of my neighbours."

“I can’t walk, I use crutches. The same crutches help me when I have to fetch water from the river that is far away from my house. The reason I voted for another party is because I’m hoping it will bring change. My ward councillor is useless,” said Chonco.

One of Chonco’s neighbours, who asked not to be named, said they had spoken to Madonda about Chonco’s plight, but the councillor did not seem to care.

"I’m one of the people who voted, but I didn’t vote for the ANC. I voted for another party because we were hoping that if it wins, that is a message to the ANC to pull up its socks,” said the resident.

“All I want is a better house, access to water and electricity,” said Chonco.

Madonda told GroundUp he would ensure development in Egoqweni. He said Nhlazatshe, where Chonco lived, was getting priority.

"Water, electricity and roads will be the infrastructure that is put first in that location. As a resident of that location, Chonco will benefit accordingly,” Madonda said.

Read more on:    durban  |  service delivery  |  disabilities

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