Power to the people in Asinavalo informal settlement
Electricity will be connected to shacks in Motherwell’s Asinavalo informal settlement from Thursday.
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani told protesting residents that work would start to ensure they received power and, later, water.
Earlier on Wednesday, the residents – who six months ago invaded land illegally and formed the Asinavalo settlement – took to the streets, blocking morning traffic with large rocks and burning tyres, demanding to speak to Bobani.
Bobani addressed them at about midday, saying: “When work happens on the one side, the same must happen here.”
The residents complained that another informal settlement in the same area was receiving services, yet they were still forced to relieve themselves in bushes and did not have electricity.
“I’ve called the officials because when digging happens that side [Nomakanjani], digging must happen here [Asinavalo] today,” Bobani said.
“Water pipes will be installed today as well, but tomorrow I will meet with councillors from Motherwell to make sure services go to other wards as well.
“But they must start here,” he said.
Asinavalo resident Nondumiso Yawa said there were two informal settlements in their ward built around the same time, but the message they received from the councillor was that only one was going to receive services.
“Our belief is that we’re all in one ward, so why are we going to be divided when it comes to service delivery?
“It can’t be that they get services in Nomakanjani and we don’t get anything this side.
“Promises were made to us that in March we would get services, but nothing has happened,” Yawa said.
Another resident, Amanda Mphako, said she had been on a housing waiting list since 2005 but nothing had happened, which was why she joined the crowd and invaded land.
“When we ask about the waiting list from 2005, no-one can answer us.
“We’re old, living at our parents’ homes, and we’ve given birth to our own children living there,” Mphako said.
Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said R4m for new electricity connections in the ward had been approved in the adjustments budget on February 28.