‘Even bucket system beats this squalor’

Rochelle de Kock

RESIDENTS of Uitenhage’s western areas have taken to the streets nearly every day for the past month, begging the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality at least to acknowledge cries for basic services and houses.

The people of KwaLanga, Rosedale, Moeggesukkel, Polar Park, Mandela Village and Gerald Smit have been burning tyres and blocking roads since early last month, trying to get mayor Ben Fihla’s attention.

But he has yet to visit the areas to hear their cries.

Instead, Fihla sent Uitenhage councillors Wandisile Jikeka, Siena Baartman, Zolani Ncwadi, Dick Lennard, Pieter Terblanche and Frannay van der Linde last Tuesday to defuse the situation.

The residents gave the municipality until last Friday to come back with a concrete plan of action to address all the challenges. Councillors have not yet returned to the community.

At the heart of the problems is the serious lack of basic services, such as water and sanitation.

Also, housing development in Uitenhage, with the exception of KwaNobuhle, is often left out of the municipality’s annual budget.

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