The South African Communist Party in East London took to the streets to demand accountable allocation of houses in Duncan Village and the need for the City to prioritize service delivery in the area.
The South African Communist Party (SACP) in East London held a people’s march on Friday to hand over a memorandum to the executive mayor of Buffalo City, Xola Pakathi.
High on their demands is the allocation of houses in Duncan Village, which SACP District Secretary, Siya Mdodi describe as a pain to the people.
“We are here, not because we have nothing to do or just love to be seen. We are here because of the situation of the people of Duncan Village. This township is one of the oldest in East London, but is still under-developed. We fight with individuals who sell houses which are meant for poor people,” said Mdodi.
“One of our major concerns is the issue of outsourcing in Buffalo City. This is the main reason for the delay in delivering houses in Duncan Village. Stand up people of Duncan Village and fight for what is rightfully yours,” he said addressing a crowd made up of mostly the elderly.
“People need to demand what rightfully belongs to them, and make a noise that will shake those in administration.”
Nomathamsanqa Khala, who stays with a 14-year-old autistic boy, says she has been waiting for a house for 19 years.
“I registered for a house in 1999. When I went to check for a house, I was told to go build a shack like the rest. I explained my situation of staying with a disabled child but no one cares. I rent a house for now because he would not survive in a shack,” she explained.
She also says with all the illegal electrical cables in shacks, her child would be in danger.
“I really hope someone will hear our plight one day and we get the housing we deserve. The most painful part is seeing someone who has stayed here for barely 3 years getting a house. This proves how corrupt this municipality is,” said Khala.
Nontuthuzelo Maposela also explained how she has lost all hope of getting a proper house for herself and kids.
“The situation here is very hopeless here. I have stayed in a shack here since 1981. Every time I go check for my house, I am told that it is not ready yet even though I applied for one 23 years ago. I am not working on top of this, ” she said.
“There is no support for the cooperatives we want to start on our own. We started a sewing project as a group of women here, and we have been asking for assistance from the municipality but no one is willing to help us. However, we will not give up. We hope the noise made by the SACP will make a difference especially in the issue of houses,” she said.
Some of the issues highlighted in the Skhonjana Roji District is the urgent need to help families whose shacks were destroyed by fire, years ago.
“We demand the BCMM [Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality] assist those families with temporary shelters and other basic services. The people of Duncan Village are subjected to appalling road infrastructure and to this end we demand rectification of roads and street infrastructure in the area,” read the memorandum.