By: Sidima Mfeku
Seven informal dwellers of various areas around Motherwell, Port Elizabeth have staged protest action outside the chamber of council against the negligent governance imposed to them by the executive Mayor and MMC for Human settlements in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
The angry residents accused Mayor Mongameli Bobani and Andile Lungisa of not attending to their issues, making empty promises and leaving them (dwellers) to suffer the consequences of ill governance by some of their ward councillors.
Speaking directly to Lungisa, leader of this group Siphokazi Hlalu said “as you are seating here at this council meeting you are a leader to many other leaders, but at our communities we have councillors that are not doing their job well, that we would call out should you be visiting the areas as you should”.
Hlalu said “we have water problems and garbage collection bags that were promised to us long time ago have still not been delivered. Do you want us to protest in order for you to erect electricity poles in our areas?”
These angry residents said their current ward councillor Becinga Mbuqu referred them to the Mayor and Lungisa to express they dissatisfaction of their living conditions. They said he urged them to seek attention in a form of a protest and even “burn tyres” if needs be.
Meanwhile, ward 54 resident Bantu Tyamzashe revealed another life threatening problem of living directly next to bushes that bear dangerous reptiles that could take their lives.
Tyamzashe said “we beg that these Ndluvu (informal dwellings) be taken care of, there are no toilets no water, behind our shacks are bushes with many snakes”
He said “Some of us are living near the farms and farmers behind our shacks are claiming that we are occupying their land, we have a problem there”
These residents delivered their memorandum of demands and Bobani promised the residents a visit in seven days in response to their grievances.
“Before we come to these areas, we need to meet with various stakeholders in governance so as to speak on the financial impact of the development that needs to be done in the areas” Bobani said.
He said people should continue working together and leave their personal party politics when dealing with matters that concern the well-being of the entire society.