Resident call meeting after years of service delivery woes

In frustration, Themba residents in Ezibeleni summoned their councillor, Andile Batyi, to explain why the area had been left to deteriorate while they paid for services.

In a community meeting held at Inkwenkwezi Preprimary School on Thursday last week, Batyi was asked what he was doing about potholes, taps that ran dry for weeks and frequent power cuts in the area.

Foremost on the agenda were water issues that included lack of maintenance of infrastructure, tanks allocated to the area but not delivered and stormwater drains that were not serviced “posed flood risks”.

In December the area was without water for almost three weeks and the residents said they were neither informed about the cause nor what was being done to address it.

Batyi explained that the area had technical problems with the pipeline and the Chris Hani District Municipality had been trying to address these for some time.

Themba, which frequently has power cuts, was also affected by a storm that brought down a number of electricity poles in the zone.

The community told Batyi also that lack of maintenance of electricity infrastructure caused constant power outages, leading to damage of their appliances. They also complained that the municipality had been so negligent as to leave wires exposed after a power distribution box was removed.

Lunga Tsotsi, chairperson of an interim structure elected to liaise on behalf of the community, said Themba residents felt they had been quiet for too long.

We feel we have been ignored for so long. So many things have gone wrong in our area and we feel it is time we stand together or nothing will be done. We hear we have street committees, but we do not see them, we do not know who elected them and we wonder what they actually do.

The councillor did not provide satisfactory answers to any of the issues we raised, instead talking about what had been done as far back as 2016. The community feels there has been no attempt to communicate with us, yet the issues affect us directly.

We are tired of promises. We want action and tangible time frames when all these things will be done,” said Tsotsi.

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