Lack of street names causing endless problems in Chatty
It’s a simple question that most will be asked hundreds if not thousands of times during their lifetime.
What is your address?
Without a thought, we rattle it off.
For the hundreds of people living in Chatty Extension, though, there is no answer to that question.
For almost a decade they have begged for their streets to be named because not having an address keeps people trapped in a cycle of poverty and at the real risk of being ignored when it comes to essential services.
Addresses are, after all, a huge part of proving your identity.
And proving your identity is crucial in accessing the basics most take for granted.
Want to register for school? Open a bank account?
Build credit and start a business?
Show proof of address.
And what do you do when you need to call an ambulance?
According to the Chatty residents they have to provide landmarks as reference — a less than ideal situation.
Without addresses people are denied the right to build productive lives — and must live with the real fear tragedy may befall them should an ambulance be unable to find them.
The situation is unacceptable and must be sorted out with a sense of urgency.
It beggars belief that this community was asked in 2017 to name their streets, with those names then approved in a council meeting, and yet there has still been no action.
It is clear not enough has been done to address this problem, judging by metro spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki’s response — or lack thereof — to questions on the issue.
He provided a generic response explaining how the community should go about getting the ball rolling.
On being told this had all been done, he had no further response.
Metro officials must understand this community’s frustration.
They have done everything in their power to ensure their streets are named, but are being stonewalled at every turn.
We cannot have another generation trapped by what should be one of the simplest of problems to fix.