Poor services ‘but we must vote’


EMPTY PROMISES: Residents of Ezibeleni such as Gcobani Mbukushe, of Bhekela says they were promised proper houses but are still waiting.

Ezibeleni residents are concerned about service delivery issues and say they are still expected to vote in the upcoming elections in a week’s time.

They expressed how discouraging it was to vote and yet see no change in the community. There was no safety, they were robbed in broad daylight and yet there was a police station. The only assistance they get is from the appointed patrollers who work at night to ensure that everyone is at home by curfew.


FIRE HARZARD: Ezibeleni residents say they have no choice but to burn their refuse as municipal refuse collection trucks are not seen in the community

Lorenzo Moteno, a resident of Unathi Mkefa, said: “There is always load shedding which makes it difficult for us to buy fresh vegetables and meat to store in the refrigerator. Our appliances were sparked from the power outage. We now have to buy paraffin which is expensive, we do not work. When there are job opportunities, those in power think of their families and friends first and leave us hanging as the people of the community.

“Sometimes load shedding affects the whole of Ezibeleni but when electricity comes back, it only lights up certain places of the area and the street lights are not working. This is one of the reasons people are robbed. We hardly have water. Garbage is not collected, so now we burn it so that it does not pile up. We are sick and tired of the ANC robbing us and our rights,’’ Moteno said.


SEWAGE PROBLEMS: Ezibeleni residents Nobuntu Kali says the stench of sewage from burst pipes outside her house is unbearable and she has to buy chemicals to try tone down the odour Picture: MBALENTLE STOFU

Another Unathi Mkefa resident, Thembelihle Mkhwambi said: “We would be called to community halls for job opportunities by the Ikora forum and some people got employed by the Go-slow company, but some of us are still waiting to get jobs. Residents who are employed were complaining about how unfairly treated they are at work and the forum suggested a strike. When the residents lost their jobs they did not want to be held accountable, instead they sit at home with no jobs. Food parcels would be distributed at 5am to certain households of people they know.’’


YELLOW SETTLEMENT: Bongani Gawula, a resident of an informal settlement in Ezibeleni, says their homes were destroyed a few years ago in hope that the government would build them new houses   Picture: MBALENTLE STOFU


Gcobani Mbukushe of Bhekela location said they were promised houses, but they are still staying in shacks. “We were promised better housing in 2013 and some houses were built and finished. Some were destroyed and left in that state. We do not even have toilets in our homes, we go to the dongas because there is no water.”



ABANDONED DREAM: The owner of this shack in Ezibeleni ditched it because promises to build houses for residents were never fulfilled Picture: MBALENTLE STOFU


Bongani Gawula, a resident of an informal settlement said it was difficult to just watch TV or  charge a cellphone, with all power outages. Nobuntu Kali, of Zone 3, lamented: ”My water pipes have burst and nothing has been done, instead I have to put in chemicals to tone down the smell. I have tried plumbers and still none of that has brought relief. Instead thy burst repeatedly. ”My children react so badly to it, they now have skin allergies and I suspect the sewage might be the cause. The power station next to my house is a problem, it causes power outages every day and I am always left with no electricity.”


DANGER TO LIVES: Residents of Zone 3 in Ezibeleni say this open power box next to their homes places their lives at risk Picture: MBALENTLE STOFU