City Vision

A Better Life no more

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Residents from Better Life demanding the City to clean the dirty pond.PHOTO: unathi obose
Residents from Better Life demanding the City to clean the dirty pond.PHOTO: unathi obose

Hopes of a better life are now a thing of the past for Better Life residents whose lives have deteriorated due to alleged poor service delivery.

Irate residents are accusing the City of Cape Town of neglecting them and their plight. They say they live in squalor and things have got worse since they first moved to the area in 2000.

Resident Nosizwe Msweli, whose house stands before a dirty pond, described the area as “filthy”. She said the pond had not been cleaned in more than three years. 

“The City used to clean around the pond such as picking up plastic and papers or cutting the grass. Since mid-year last year the City stopped cleaning it. The City never cleaned inside the pond, as you see the water turned green showing how dirty it is. The water is stagnant.”

Msweli described the stench from the pond as unbearable. “When we moved into the new houses here in early 2000 we named the area Better Life because we thought our lives were going to change for the better – not knowing that the worse was still to come.”

She called for an upgrade of all the underground infrastructure. “Our roads have potholes and the drainage system is dysfunctional. The human waste is floating all over. And the whole mess didn’t happen yesterday. It’s terrible. It’s been years that the community is living like this.” Msweli are hoping that the new councillor, Zukisani Sophazi, will bring change. 

Commenting on the situation Sophazi said he is fully aware of the pond. He added that he is trying to have it cleaned. “Since we are coming from December holidays some of the officials who are in charge are still not back to the office yet. But I’m trying to find relevant people who can assist us because it’s an agent matter.”

Sophazi attributed the problem to the ongoing sewage problem in Philippi as a whole. “I managed to get trucks to fix some of the drains in our area. But I must say it’s not easy to get the trucks because sometimes it happens a person report a leaking drain now and the truck will come the following day because they (trucks) are busy in other areas.”

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