Ward 9 residents use the bush to relieve themselves

kenalemang Phawe Photo: Selogile Leshage

Will a human being ever survive in a place where there are no toilets, water or electricity?

Ward 9 community spokesperson, Jubilee Mothopeng asked this question and highlights that there is no service delivery in the area of 104 households.
Mothopeng says the community of Ward 9, near Greenfield, was moved from different informal settlements and have been staying in the area for five years. To this day they are still waiting for their lease agreements and RDP houses.
‘We are dying here,’ adds Frans Marope. ‘We have been engaging with all relevant departments, however, they haven’t been to this area. Our ward councillor is also not assisting us. We want him to step down,’ he said furiously.
Mothopeng says if the municipality does not respond, they are going to protest. ‘We will barricade the roads and burn tyres. This is the only language that they understand,’ he said.
The Herald took a tour of the area and spoke to some members of the community. Toilet papers were strewn all over the nearby bush where the community relieves themselves. Only two taps could be seen in the area.

This is the bush where the community relieve themselves, day and night.

Soppy Motsumi and her granddaughter, Kelebogile Photos: Selogile Leshage

Soppy Motsumi (69) says she has been staying for three years in a two-room shack. ‘I relieve myself in the bushes because I don’t have a toilet. We are waiting for electricity, water, and RDP houses,’ she said. Kelebogile Motsumi (9), her granddaughter says life is hard. The little girl told the Herald that she only goes to the bushes during the day to relieve herself. At night, this learner from Madibeng Primary School uses a paraffin lamp to study. ‘We are battling to survive because I cannot even access a child grant because there are problems with the issuing of a birth certificate,’ she said sadly.
Hilda Nkotsi (44) says they have to travel long distances to get water because only 2 taps have been allocated for 104 households. Hilda recently had a major surgical operation and cannot walk. ‘I usually ask my neighbours to go get me water. I am forced to use a bucket to relieve myself, day and night. If only the municipality can assist us with three things; water, electricity, and toilets. We will be satisfied because we know it is going to take years before they build RDP houses.’
JB Marks spokesperson responds
Willie Maphosa, the Council spokesperson says the area is receiving attention.
‘Our technical services has met several times with the community of Greenfield. An assessment of their needs was made and the plans to change their situation has been explained to them.
‘The municipality has received funding from the Department of Energy to electrify houses in Ikageng Extension 9 in this financial year. We are confident that some savings will be derived from the electrification of the Extension 9 Project. These savings will be used to provide electricity for Greenfield.
‘The appointed consulting engineer has already made designs for the area of Greenfield and we are at a stage of appointing a contractor to do the actual work on site. Technical services is also looking into how they can provide a sustainable supply of water and sanitation,’ he said
  AUTHOR
Selogile Leshage
Journalist

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