Home News Calls for basic service delivery issues have fallen on deaf ears

Calls for basic service delivery issues have fallen on deaf ears

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Their calls for basic service delivery issues have fallen on deaf ears for months. Several drains in the area are blocked, but Manne Dipico and Lathli Mabilo Streets were the most affected.

85-year-old Matilda Samba, a pensioner who stays in John Daka. Pictures: Danie van der Lith

FOR MOST OF us, taking a chair outside and sitting in the sun is a very easy thing to do. Soaking up the sun and breathing in some fresh air is a God-given gift, but for most residents from Ward 17 in John Daka, Kimberley, this gift has become a curse. So much so, that they decided to protest and barricade the roads of John Daka and Albert Luthuli Street recently.

Their calls for basic service delivery issues have fallen on deaf ears for months. Several drains in the area are blocked, but Manne Dipico and Lathli Mabilo Streets were the most affected.

While visiting the area today, I was taken to 85-year-old Matilda Samba, a pensioner, who stays on Manne Dipico Street. Walking into her home, the first thing I noticed was the oxygen machine and the pipe leading into her nose and an oxygen bottle which is there for when there is load shedding.

According to Matilda, when the drains block up and push out the sewage spill around her house, the smell comes into her house. “These drains have been blocked for over a month and the smell hangs inside my home,” said Matilda.

Matilda mentioned that when the drains overflow, the smell enters her home and it feels like her chest starts to close up and her breathing becomes more difficult. “At one point it was so bad that I thought that I had the coronavirus, but after going to the doctor I found out that it was just a lung infection and that the sewage could have played a role in the infection”.

Several community members at the house of Matilda said that they lodged complaints to the Sol Plaatje Municipality. “We have even lodged several complaints to the ward councillor of Ward 17, Nomazizi Maputle, who is also the Speaker of Sol Plaatje Municipality, but they just never came”, they said.

“She, the speaker of Sol Plaatje must decide if she wants to be a ward councillor or the speaker, because we are not happy about what she is doing for our ward”.

According to community members, since the last elections when promises were made to them, nobody has been to the John Daka area again and that includes the speaker, Nomazizi Maputle. “We are busy with a petition in Ward 17 to have the councillor removed as a councillor because she does not have the interests of ward 17 at heart”.

After the community barricaded the roads and spoke to the Municipal speaker over the phone, the Sol Plaatje Municipality sent a truck from the sanitation department to clear the blocked sewage drains in the area. “Why is it only when we protest and barricade the roads, do we get service delivery”? It’s really sad that it has to come to this, said one resident.

The drain that was overflowing with sewage water.
Sol Plaatje sanitation department opened up the drains.
Residents from John Daka barricaded the road and demanded service delivery.
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