Buffalo City residents not all happy with mayor’s report

Mdantsane residents lifting their hands up demanding to ask questions to BCMM mayor Xola Pakati. Photo by Manqulo Nyakombi.

Residents of Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality use the Mayor’s report back to lash out at the City for lack of service delivery, especially in informal settlements.

Unemployment, lack of toilets, bad road conditions, lack of houses and poor sanitation – these were some of the issues raised by Mdantsane residents during the Mayoral imbizo held in Orlando Stadium on Thursday.

Barcelona Informal Settlement residents told Buffalo City Metro Municipality (BCMM) Mayor Xola Pakati, that their area has no toilets after 24 years. Some residents from informal settlements, like CC18 in Mdantsane NU18, said ambulances and police vans do not go to their areas because of bad road conditions.

This Imbizo was for Pakati to report back about on service delivery in Mdantsane and surrounding areas. He told residents what the Metro has done so far and what projects it is busy with and what its future plans are. Pakati started reading his speech telling residents that in this current financial year an amount of R61.5m has been budgeted for the upgrading of roads in the three clusters of the midland area.

He said R6.6m is for the graveling of rural roads.

Pakati also reported that R10m has been put aside for the electrification of informal settlements and that a furrther R120m is for electricity in all wards in Mdantsane and surrounding areas.

However, not all residents were happy with Pakati’s report. Some of the residents said the main issues affecting informal settlement in Mdantsane were not raised. Lizo Ntlonti from ward 14 said informal settlements like Barcelona do not receive services and yet were not mentioned in Pakati’s report.

According to Ntlonti, Barcelona was founded in 1994 and there are still no toilets. Residents use bushes where at night they are targeted by criminals. He told Pakati at the meeting that there is no development in his ward and that there’s a lot of young people who are not working. Siphokazi Dunjwa from Hani Park Infomal Settlement said they been waiting for RDP houses since 1998.

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Siphokazi Dunjwa telling the BCMM mayor Xola Pakati about bad conditions in Hani Park Informal Settlement. Photo by Manqulo Nyakombi.

Dunjwa said it’s been 20 years now and it’s not clear when the BCMM is going to develop the area. She said the area they live in has no proper toilets and electricity and yet again, apparently absent in Pakati’s report. Ncumisa Cingane from CC18 Informal Settlement in NU18 said in her area they recently helped a woman to give birth in her shack. Cingane said CC18 has no road at all and emergency vehicles struggle to get to the area.

She said the BCMM once promised to build them houses and that was ten years ago.

Cingane said they even made way for their RDP houses but till today the BCMM is quiet about the development and it is not clear when they will be getting RDP houses.

“The area we were moved to is wetland. People are getting sick. We live with old age people who often need to go to hospital and they have to hire transport because there are no roads for ambulances,” said Cingane, adding that most people are living in broken shacks that leak when it rains.

BCMM Mayor Xola Pakati during the Mayoral Imbizo in Mdantsane Orlando Stadium. Photo by Manqulo Nyakombi.

Pakati did not respond to any of the issues raised. He said he is going to sit with ward councillors then report back to residents at the next Imbizo.

This, however, did not sit well with residents.

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