Emfuleni residents left to live in inhumane conditions, says Ramokgopa

Rise Mzansi’s Vuyiswa Ramokgopa with a resident of the Vaal region.

Rise Mzansi’s Vuyiswa Ramokgopa with a resident of the Vaal region.

Published Mar 14, 2024


Rise Mzansi Gauteng premier candidate Vuyiswa Ramokgopa says several communities in the Vaal region have been stripped of their dignity by the people they entrusted to lead them.

Speaking during a visit to residents of Boitumelo in Sebokeng on Wednesday, she said they had been abandoned by the ANC government.

“The community have been stripped of their dignity and forced to live in the hazardous conditions of sewage flooding their homes, endangering their health and quality of life. Despite hollow promises of governmental support, the stark reality on the ground paints a far bleaker picture.

“Many of the families we visited today have had to abandon their homes due to sewage that has flooded their yards, infiltrated their homes and covered the streets of the community.

“These houses were built post the apartheid era, meaning that it is the ANC government that has failed to plan adequately in the construction of this community on a wetland. This is pure political negligence by the political establishment,” the Rise Mzansi leader said.

Ramokgopa said some of the families she spoke with had told her that they were forced to leave separately as they had to seek accommodation with other family relatives due to the unbearable living conditions, which were not conducive for raising children and building a quality life.

“Emfuleni, in particular, grapples with severe infrastructure challenges, as its drainage systems crumble due to neglect and a failure to replace ageing sewerage pipes. Six months ago, sewage invaded the homes of the residents we visited today, yet municipal and provincial authorities remained indifferent, leaving these households to grapple with a noxious stench they've been unwillingly subjected to.”

Tshrela resident Tumelo Mokoena told The Star that problems with sewage were not new, and the municipality was aware of them.

“We have been complaining about this matter for years now; we were told that the sewerage plant had problems due to cable theft and that it would be fix, [but] to date it has not been fixed.

“This thing has also been in the media, but our leaders seem not to care about our wellbeing, as they have not bothered since then to try and fix this challenge,” Mokoena said.

Ramokgopa said the community’s pleas for service delivery had consistently fallen on deaf ears because the ANC-led municipality has presided over a regime of mismanagement, neglect, and horrifying financial misconduct, squandering an exorbitant R1 billion in a single fiscal year.

“Back in 2018, former premier David Makhura was compelled to intervene and place Emfuleni under administration due to its dismal service record and precarious financial state.

“Yet, six years later, little headway has been made, further compounded by a revolving door of administrators and an ineffective municipal council. Under the Lesufi-led Gauteng administration, Emfuleni languishes in despair, leaving residents with little to no hope.

“Urgent and decisive action is imperative to tackle the protracted issues plaguing Emfuleni. The residents are entitled to better, and it falls upon the provincial government of the day to expedite the restoration of their well-being and dignity without further delay.

“Rise Mzansi is ready to place non-performing municipalities like Emfuleni under administration until they meet basic Auditor-General standards, and are on a sustainable path to recovery, and deliver quality services to residents,” she said.

The Star

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