The crisis in Elliotdale, a town in Amatole District Municipality in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa has drawn the attention of United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa. Following the incessant protests in the town, lots of activities have been brought to an abrupt halt.
Protesters in Elliotdale and Mqanduli took to the streets over “unfulfilled service delivery promises”. Also, economic and other activities in the hostile town have crumbled drastically.
Relating the information on Monday, Holomisa revealed that the town’s pressing needs include electricity, water, houses and roads. He added that it is so appalling that “since the advent of democracy, some of these villages have not had access to these services.
The UDM leader therefore enjoined President Jacob Zuma to immediately dispatch a top government team to the town in order to address the service delivery crisis.
Report said that weeks ago, schoolchildren, civil servants and residents were cordoned off from the main road leading to the town by the angry protesters.
Elliotdale Residents Help Themselves
You will recall that in February, residents of Elliotdale were forced to build a school for local children after the Education Department failed to the provide the funding for one, even though it had promised to do so.
Speaking at that time, school governing body member Boniswa Mncono, said the school was built by the community from scratch, starting with two classes. “We thought the department was going to assist us but it never did. At that time, it was still just Grade 1.
“We used to donate R50 to buy bricks, then make another donation to buy whatever was needed. We first collected all the material. Zinc was donated by a man in the area. We kept on collecting the money until we managed to build these two classrooms,” Mncono added.
Also, each house donated R100 for the construction another two classroom. And as it stands now, the two classrooms still need plastering and floors, but are in use. The school now offers classes from Grade R to Grade 6.
Meanwhile, the UDM has launched it’s party Gauteng manifesto on Sunday at the Pretoria Showgrounds. Holomisa unveiled the party’s elections campaign called “Putting Community First”.
Party supporters walked down to the event center from all corners of the province in buses to be part of the event. Most of them were seen wearing yellow T-shirts. They were urged to vote for the UDM, as the party’s municipal administration would ensure that service delivery improved.
The UDM leader also said the party would ensure that people who have built shacks in dangerous areas would be assisted immediately.