Independent Online

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Public Protector and the mayor experience Langa, Khayelitsha stink den

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane engages with mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and other officials in Langa. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane engages with mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and other officials in Langa. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Published Mar 8, 2022

Share

Cape Town - Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane and her deputy, advocate Kholeka Gcaleka, visited Langa and Khayelitsha townships on Monday to conduct inspections at service delivery problem areas.

This after Mkhwebane’s office received more than 300 complaints in the Western Cape, ranging from the ongoing sewage overflows and blockages in communities to maladministration and the irregular appointment of staff.

Story continues below Advertisement

A pungent smell lingered in the air, with dirty water flowing across Langa flats to people’s homes, as Mkhwebane, mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, and other officials visited one of the residents, Sibulele Mome, who showed them her mouldy and smelly house.

Mome, who stays with three children, said that most of the toilets in the flats were not working. She said they reported the problem to the City but received no help, so people opted to use them as there was no other option and now faeces were overflowing into some of their homes.

Mkhwebane and Hill-Lewis could not bear the smell of the faeces, and decided to move away from it, as they engaged with the community.

One of the community leaders, Amanda Ntshenge said: “The situation is so bad we can’t even eat inside our homes, the water runs through the houses.”

During inspections, water and sanitation Mayco member Zahid Badroodien told Mkhwebane that “in terms of the maintenance, it is not actually water and sanitation that is not doing maintenance work, but it’s a contractor who’s connected to human settlements that’s meant to do that work”.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane engages with mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and other officials in Langa. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane engages with mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and other officials visited Sibulele Mome’s home in Langa. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

“But certainly, it’s something that they can look into to try with human settlements to make sure that we come and address these overflowing toilets.”

Story continues below Advertisement

Hill-Lewis added: “The sewage can be unblocked very quickly, that’s not a problem, it’s the long term solution that takes time.”

Mkhwebane said issues of concern included drain blockages as a result of ageing infrastructure and rising population density, poor road infrastructure and sink holes.

“The visit to the Western Cape is part of a nationwide stakeholder roadshow, a flagship outreach programme of the Public Protector South Africa (PPSA) during which the office interacts with parties interested in its work in fulfilment of its constitutional mandate to investigate, report on and remedy alleged or suspected improper conduct in all state affairs and to be accessible to all persons and communities,” Mkhwebane said.

Story continues below Advertisement

She said through the roadshow, the PPSA seeks to strengthen ties and foster collaboration and co-operation between itself and organs of state, including provincial legislatures, government departments, municipalities and traditional authorities, with a view to promoting quality service delivery and good governance in state affairs.

Before the community visit, Mkhwebane met Premier Alan Winde, the executive council and the provincial and senior government officials at the legislature.

Winde said they would take the issues on board and work through them.

Story continues below Advertisement
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane engages with mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and other officials in Langa. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane engages with mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and other officials in Langa. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

[email protected]

Cape Argus

Share