Call to address power cuts, housing, no jobs

PEACEFUL MARCH: Ezibeleni residents listen to a short briefing ahead of their march to Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality on Friday Picture: SUPPLIED

Members of the Independent Komani Residents Association and Ezibeleni community members marched to the town hall on Friday to demand that Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality address power failures, dilapidated RDP houses and spiking unemployment be addressed.

The protesters also proposed possible solutions for the social struggles facing the community.

Requests were made for the municipality to consider adopting renewable energy as an alternative to replace the aged electricity infrastructure which was not coping with the growing household demands in the area.

Ikora secretary Thulani Bukani said the municipality should also consider solar systems, which would assist with the ongoing electricity problem.

He said power outages were a result of the corruption in the municipality.

”There are houses people are living in which are not in good condition. ”A programme was introduced to rectify the RDP houses, but it was chaotic with no proper direction from the beginning.

”While they were busy in a certain area they would jump to another,”Bukani said.

”Many houses were left unattended in that programme without any explanation.”

As a result, residents were left with houses that, were falling apart.

”In some of the houses you can see people passing by through the cracks in the walls. ”These are the things we want the municipality to resolve, because it is through that organisation’s negligence that people find themselves living under such unfavourable conditions.

”We want to know who is behind the construction of poor quality houses and how the standard was approved,” he said.

Bukani said electric geysers were supposed to be installed in all the houses. “Some houses in some EMLM areas have geysers installed, while there are only a few in Ezibeleni,” he said.

”Every programme has a timeframe and its own planning. You cannot plan for five houses when there are 100.

”There is foul play, the government must stop being romantic with corruption. We will not get tired until the proper processes are followed.”

In Unathi Mkefa, he said two people had their names under the same title deed, while some houses had been illegally sold by councillors. There were instances in which people with a title deeds found someone else living in their house who claimed to have bought the house from other people.

He said they wanted small scale farmers to be empowered by the local municipality to obtain skills to reduce the escalating unemployment crisis.

”The municipality should support sport as one of the tools to lower the crime rate.

”We have netball, soccer and rugby, but no steps are taken to empower the youth. There is a sport portfolio in the municipality, but we do not know where its budget allocation goes.

”We find ourselves in a mess where no one is accounting for their acts of corruption.The municipality should do an introspection to see if it is serving its purpose of existing.” he said.”
The memorandum of demands was received by EMLM mayor Luleka Gubula, who said the issues would be looked at , while others would be forwarded to relevant departments.


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