Demand for better living conditions

SERVICE delivery or rather the lack thereof seems to be the new buzz word across the country.
Many once placid people are joining the ranks of the activists to voice their discontent with the state of their respective local governments.
All over the country striking comrades are blocking off roads, toyi toying –legally or illegally – demanding services and a better deal.
It seems that after 18 years of democracy the masses have decided the ruling party has had enough time to sort itself out and that it is time it starts delivering on all its promises.
Black and coloured people are no longer satisfied with the small, albeit significant, changes in their quality of life. They are finding their voices and are beginning to demand better lives. Although under the ANC government there have been many changes, and the majority can now vote, own a house and have access to certain basic services this is no longer good enough. Many have commented that they are worse off financially than during the apartheid area; this while a handful of Black Diamonds seem to have it all. People are fed-up with corruption, greed, bribery and the greasing of palms in a government people are fast losing trust in, and the non existence of service delivery.
While most residents in the Kouga prefer traditional and less antagonistic ways of making themselves heard, such as letter writing and turning to the press it seems a new breed of firebrands is slowly emerging.
Residents of Ocean View were so furious last Thursday that they marched en-masse to the Kouga municipality in Jeffreys Bay and demanded an audience with their ward councillor and top management. Unfortunately the march was illegal and as emotions spilled over they were simply locked out of the grounds by municipal officials, and could only stand around looking and sounding fractious.
What had sparked their ire was that the municipality had that morning cut the illegal electricity supply to most of their homes, and as they saw the press covering the march, most took the opportunity to vent all their frustrations.
It seems their ward councillor is “useless” and is doing nothing to help them. They are unhappy with their living conditions, not having jobs and having to depend on the state for hand-outs.
Their children, they say, are no better off than they themselves were when they were growing up. They now want to know what the local municipality is doing to help create jobs and to help them better their lives. Whether fair or not they see the cutting of the electricity as a further step backwards, and are demanding they be heard.
President Jacob Zuma has even been called in to help with service delivery problems. As residents are getting bolder in their expectations, and are gearing up to take the municipality to task, it seems there is not much coming from that quarter.
In last week’s Our Times, councillor Vernon Stuurman called the press ignorant and ill-informed (OT 14/3) and claimed the municipality was fulfilling its constitutional mandate.
If they are, why is it not evident, and why are there are so many unhappy residents, and more critically, why is the Kouga in such a state of disrepair? Perhaps the municipality first has to acknowledge that they have problems with their service delivery and then we can all work on a way forward.
– Cindy Liebenberg

Leave a Reply

Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment moderation policy. Your email address is required but will not be published.