Fed up Van residents vent their frustrations

Van area residents say they are “gatvol” with the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality.

The residents of the area which includes Victoria Park, Aloevale and New Rest, called a meeting on Saturday to discuss power cuts in the area, services they said were non-existent and councillors not doing their jobs.

The meeting at Maria Louw High School was attended by Ongama Adonis, councillor for ward 13, Adele Hendricks of the mayoral committee and David Kabane, a proportional representative councillor.

At the meeting residents took to the floor to say how they felt the area had been neglected.

The streets lights have not worked for I do not know how long and the swimming pool is in an awful state. I went to the municipality and had to queue for three hours. They told me my power would be cut off and there was nothing I could do about it. I wonder what is the point of staying in this town anymore,” said a resident.

Those who attended were particularly incensed by the blocking of power to the area and asked councillor Adonis why no notice or communication had been made to the area about the cuts.

Adonis said he had been surprised by the power cuts because the resolution taken by the Enoch Mgijima council was to block non-paying businesses first.

The meeting elected an interim committee which would approach the municipality to discuss the power cuts in the area.

Josh Goss, deputy chair of the committee, said the blockage process was a frustration.

“Residents are of the opinion that ward councillors are not always available and visible enough to support, guide and advise them.

Residents who have gone to the municipality to rectify the matter were treated very poorly by some municipal employees. One example was an unemployed resident who was told to pay R6 000 before they could unblock her. She pleaded to make an arrangement because she is unemployed but the officials asked how she could afford to wear makeup and not pay the said amount.

“Numerous letters and/or petitions were submitted to the municipality to highlight the plight of our people in so far as basic service delivery is concerned,” said Goss.

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