by Cllr. Tebogo Masenya — DA PR Councillor in Ekurhuleni
Date: 14 June 2021
Type: Press Statement
It has been over two years since the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ekurhuleni was approached by the residents of Sethokga Hostel in Tembisa for assistance with their living conditions at the hostel, as their pleas to the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) fell on deaf ears.
The DA then conducted an oversight visit in Ward 100 at Sethokga Hostel, and we were shocked at the state of the hostel, particularly the ablution facilities. There is a sanitation crisis at the hostel, as none of the toilets are in working condition. The toilets are leaking, not flushing and in a general state of disrepair.
Hostel residents have complained mostly about toilets not flushing. This means that residents have the burden of using the ‘bucket system’ as they still need to use buckets to pour water in the toilets after relieving themselves. This is deeply humiliating for the residents and the indignity of it all is upsetting.
As the DA, we believe that sanitation is dignity, and upon witnessing the dehumanising state of the hostel ablution facilities, we immediately reported this matter to the ANC and its coalition partners. We have been driving this matter for more than two years and the ANC-led coalition government in Ekurhuleni has not lifted a finger to address the humiliating conditions the residents are subjected to.
In January 2019, the DA wrote to the MMC of Human Settlements, Cllr. Lesiba Mpya, to inform and ask for his urgent intervention. In March and April 2019, we followed up again and there was still no reply or action from the Department of Human Settlements. Furthermore, we submitted a petition on behalf of the hostel residents, and we are yet to receive satisfactory answers.
The sanitation crisis at the hostel breeds bacteria and diseases, creating an unsafe and unsanitary living environment. Residents’ lives are in immense danger amid the highly contagious COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the ANC and its coalition partners continue to drag their feet.
The ANC and its coalition partners* hide behind the narrative of a ‘pro-poor budget’, yet they continually fail to serve the very poor they claim to provide for. The CoE has shamelessly failed to deliver on Local Government’s mandate to create and promote a safe and healthy environment for these communities.
The residents of Ekurhuleni deserve a well-run government that delivers basic services and provides a healthy and safe environment. A DA-run Ekurhuleni will be committed and determined to deliver on the basic rights of residents by ensuring effective and responsive service delivery and prioritise the regular maintenance and refurbishment of municipal infrastructure.
*ANC Coalition Partners: African Independent Congress (AIC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Patriotic Alliance (PA) and Independent Ratepayers Association of South Africa (IRASA)
Cllr. Tebogo Masenya
DA PR Councillor in Ekurhuleni