Locals ‘have had enough’

2018-08-31 15:51
Protests erupted in Bruntville yesterday, with angry residents blockading roads with rocks demanding that mayor, Xolani Duma, be axed.

Protests erupted in Bruntville yesterday, with angry residents blockading roads with rocks demanding that mayor, Xolani Duma, be axed. (Sabelo Nsele)

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Bruntville residents want Mooi-Mpofana mayor Xolani Duma, gone.

On Thursday the angry residents blockaded roads with burning tyres and stones demanding that Duma be shown the door.

The protesters have threatened to block the N3 and torch 10 trucks if the ANC in the region does not remove Duma from the mayoral post.

One of the protesters, who asked not to be named, said they had given the ANC enough chances to remove Duma.

“There was a community meeting where we told the regional leadership that we have had enough of Duma.

“They promised to report back to us within seven days and that seven days has gone now and they have not returned to address community members.”

The meeting was attended by regional task team convener Sandile Dlamini and co-ordinator Mzi Zuma.

“We are being taken for granted here. They have forgotten that the elections are around the corner.

“If they do not want to listen to us, we will ventilate our frustrations at the ballot,” said the protester.

Another protester, who also asked not to be named, said they were angry that Duma was living in an RDP house while residents were living in dilapidated mud houses while waiting for years for their RDP houses.

Dlamini confirmed that they were meant to have given feedback to the Bruntville community earlier this week but blamed time constraints for their no-show.

“We had a by-election in uMngeni Municipality and there was an ANC provincial lekgotla which took three days. We, however, instructed our councillors in the area to have report back meetings. I do not know why that was never done.

“The allegations against the mayor are very serious and we have told our caucus in the municipality to investigate them.

“We are also still waiting for the province on some of the issues,” he said.

Attempts to get comment from Duma were unsuccessful.

In a previous interview, Duma confirmed that he was living in an RDP house and said it belonged to his wife.

Meanwhile, protest action also erupted in Ixopo yesterday.

Angry residents from Mazabekweni blockaded the R56 demanding water and electricity. Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said 13 people were arrested for public violence.

Residents of Phumlas, Bruntville, told of their long wait for their RDP houses.

Muntuweswe Ximba (77) said he had waited for his RDP house since 1997.

Ximba lives in a mud house with his seven children.

“None of my children are working and they depend on my old age pension. If I die today, I do not know what will happen to them,” he said.

Ximba said someone had been given the RDP house that was meant for him.

“I have given up hope that I will ever get an RDP house,” he said.

A search on a housing subsidy portal showed that Ximba had been approved for an RDP house, however, the site number is different from the one that Ximba had given The Witness.

Human Settlement Department spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi said they would investigate the matter.

“It might happen that his house is one of those that have not been completed. We had a problem of an underperforming contractor who had started the work in 2014. The department has since changed the contractor and there are about 500 houses that need to be built,” he said.

A few houses away from Ximba’s house, 68-year-old Tholakele Ndlovu lives in a mud house with her five children.

“We have waited for more than 20 years for this house. When it rains, we all run to the toilet because we are afraid that this house may collapse anytime,” she said.

Mariam Nxumalo (55) said she had forgotten how long her family had waited for an RDP house.

“When it is raining we all stand because there are leaks everywhere. With summer coming, I do not know what will become of us,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  protest

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