Jika Joe’s issues ‘still not dealt with’

2019-07-24 15:00
Jika Joe resident Vuyiswa Mchunu speaking about how they felt undermined by the police at the Pietermaritzburg police station, particularly in relation to the abduction of Snegugu Mthembu.PHOTOS: Mthobisi Mbanjwa

Jika Joe resident Vuyiswa Mchunu speaking about how they felt undermined by the police at the Pietermaritzburg police station, particularly in relation to the abduction of Snegugu Mthembu.PHOTOS: Mthobisi Mbanjwa

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Jika Joe residents were left with more questions than answers after the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development, Nonhlanhla Khoza, visited the area on Tuesday.

Khoza, together with Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo, led a meeting with residents at the St Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday morning.

This followed the recent murder of a 13-year-old Snegugu Mthembu who disappeared while playing with her friends in the area. Her half-naked body was discovered by her mother on the banks of a river near her home in Jika Joe days after she went missing. Two men have been arrested.

Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, Njilo raised concerns about illegal electricity connections and also warned residents about building their shacks too close to the river banks.

Njilo also said the multi-million-rand housing development being built along Fitzsimmons Road near Jika Joe would be a relief to residents who could afford to pay rent. He said the 1 464 units would be completed in the next 48 months. Njilo said the KZN Human Settlement Department allocated R442 million for the project and Msunduzi R62 million.

Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo and Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza at the meeting with Jika Joe residents.

Resident Sifiso Mkhize raised concerns about the flats. “We want to know if these flats are houses for Jika Joe residents who were promised RDP houses years ago, or are they another money-making business for the municipality,” he asked.

Vuyiswa Mchunu said they felt undermined by police. “Sne’s death is an example of how these police ill-treat us in this community. We still believe that had the police responded when Sne’s mother reported her missing, she would still be alive today. The police don’t take us seriously,” she said.

The residents got rowdy when the end of the meeting was announced, as they felt that the MEC had failed to address their issues.

“We told her that we have a problem with the police and that many of us were promised RDP houses but now the municipality wants us to pay rent at the flats they are building.

“We live in shacks, how are we going to afford rent? The MEC didn’t address all of this,” said a resident.

When the MEC left, the residents confronted Njilo outside the hall and told him that their problem with the police was still not dealt with and that they still did not know how they would benefit from the flats.


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