Municipality election is just seven days to go, but do you know that there are Councillors who are yet to visit their wards in years?
If you happen to doubt this, ask the residents of eGoqweni in KwaZulu-Natal.
Residents of eGoqweni in KwaZulu-Natal have complained of not benefiting from the government in any way. They lament not having potable water, tarred roads or even schools.
Worst still, they have not seen their Councillor Sipho Madonda, in two years.
Sipho Madonda is ANC’ councillor for eGoqweni Ward 11. He has been the councillor of this ward for the past 10 years after winning an 89% of the total vote cast in the 2011 local elections. He is standing for re-election as the ANC candidate.
Interestingly, residents under his ward told GroundUp that they haven’t seen him since September 2014.
eGoqweni residents said they have to fetch water from the nearest river, which they share with goats and cows and their children have to take a long walk to schools in Edendale location eight kilometres away and the nearest clinic is a six-kilometre walk to Snatching.
Having no one to respond to their needs, the community has formed a committee of five people to take up their demands. One of the members of the committee Kwenzokuhle Phungula revealed that the committee had made several efforts to contact their ward Councillor but in all, he turned them down.
” … Whenever we call him, he will respond by saying he doesn’t know this community. We got tired of begging him and we decided that we form a committee early this year,” he said,
He also said that the committee, together with the community, have gone to the Msunduzi municipality early this year to explain to the officials the conditions of the roads, but that they are yet to hear from the officials.
“Not even one of the officials has bothered to come and see the kind of life we are living,” said Mncedisi Khambule, also a committee member, who has been living in eGoqweni for 14 years.
“The only thing that was built for us are toilets. We have people living in metal houses and mud houses. People are living in houses that might fall at any time. If these houses fall, it means that people have to go and sleep in toilets.
“We have no clinic … We use wheelbarrows to transport people to the main road if we have called an ambulance … because ambulances refuse to use this road. We are suffering, but at the end of the day these people want our vote,” said Khambule.
Speaking of who they will vote for and what party, another committee member Thobile Mlambo said: “We can’t rely on someone who doesn’t even know that we exist. We won’t vote for him. We are taking our votes to other political parties. We have been suffering enough. We have lost hope in the ANC,”
Madonda, however, said there were plans in the pipeline to develop eGoqweni. “It’s not true that the place has no development. We have tried fixing the road, although it is not properly fixed. Residents must wait,” he said