Zuma must send top team to forgotten Eastern Cape town - Holomisa

2016-04-25 14:12
(File, Beeld)

(File, Beeld)

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East London – President Jacob Zuma must immediately dispatch a top government team to the Eastern Cape town of Elliotdale to deal with a service delivery crisis there, United Democratic Front leader Bantu Holomisa urged on Monday.

Elliotdale and the nearby town of Mqanduli have been plagued by protests over "unfulfilled service delivery promises", the UDM leader said.

The violent protests had resulted in a number of schools in the area having to close at various times, he said.

"At the top of their list of service delivery demands is electricity, water, houses and roads. Since the advent of democracy, some of these villages have not had access to these services," Holomisa said.  

Three weeks ago, the Daily Dispatch reported that "hostile" villagers had blocked the main road to Elliotdale, cutting off schoolchildren, civil servants and residents.

A spokesperson for the King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality, Sonwabo Mampoza, at the time told the newspaper that residents would have to be patient and that there was a plan in place to bring services to the areas.

In February, GroundUp reported that residents of Elliotdale built a school for local children, as the department had continually failed to the provide the funding for one, even though it had promised to do so.

School governing body member Boniswa Mncono, a mother of two, said: "This school was built by the community from scratch. We started with two classes, thinking that the department was going to assist us but it never did. At that time, it was still just Grade 1.

"We used to donate R50 to buy bricks, then make another donation to buy whatever was needed. We first collected all the material. Zinc was donated by a man in the area. We kept on collecting the money until we managed to build these two classrooms," said Mncono.

Last year, parents had decided to build another two classrooms after they realised that the department was seemingly not willing to help them. This time each house donated R100 after a public meeting.

The two classrooms still need plastering and floors, but are in use. The school now offers classes from Grade R to Grade 6.

Holomisa urged Zuma’s office to dispatch a national team to work together with the affected communities in order to find a quick and lasting solution.

Read more on:    udm  |  jacob zuma  |  bantu holomisa  |  east london  |  service delivery  |  protests

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