The community of ward 17 in Wesselton, embarked on a service delivery march to the Msukaligwa Municipal offices on Wednesday, 24 October.
The community, comprising of the Steve Biko Informal Settlement and Mazakhele, are demanding their area be prioritised for services to be delivered.
Steve Biko is the newest informal settlement in Wesselton.
Residents invaded land meant for an agricultural project that was overseen by the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs in January.
As previously reported in the Highvelder, 14 June, ‘Residents of the Steve Biko Informal Settlement stay put for now‘, the residents were served with an interdict to vacate the land and to remove their housing structures on 2 May.
That matter is still pending.
Watch the video of the service delivery march here:
Wesselton ward 17 community marches to Msukaligwa MunicipalityThe community of ward 17 in Wesselton are marching to the Civic Center, protesting over the lack of service delivery in the area.#HighvelderProtests
Posted by Highvelder Newspaper on Wednesday, 24 October 2018
The land has no amenities and a leadership structure installed their own “tap” which they dug and constructed from a nearby pump.
The more than 400 households use this tap for water. The group also dug pits for toilets.
Mazakhele is also facing similar problems as the Steve Biko informal settlement.
The area, near the Qambekile Primary School, faces power cuts occasionally.
A small section of the area, Nelson Mandela Village, is still using communal toilets.
As previously reported in the Highvelder, 27 September, ‘Mazakhele residents fed up with lack of service delivery’, the residents took to the streets on 19 September to voice their dissatisfaction over the lack of service delivery when their communal toilets blew away due to strong winds at the time.
This prompted residents to burn tyres in the street, blocking off the main road into the area.
The municipality brought in temporary toilets, which seemed to appease the residents.
However, it seems residents of ward 17 have had enough.
During the march to the Civic Centre, leaders handed over a memorandum with a list of demands.
In the memorandum Steve Biko residents stipulate the following:
• Clean and healthy water.
• The mine hole near the settlement be closed completely.
• Residents demand a demarcation board
• The formalisation of stands.
Mazakhele residents on the other hand, command the following:
• A sewer pipe line promised to them be installed immediately.
• The 18 low-cost houses promised to Nelson Mandela Village residents be built as soon as possible.
• The deteriorating roads in Mazakhele to be re-constructed immediately.
The Executive Mayor of Msukaligwa, Mr Joseph Mkhaliphi, accepted and signed the memorandum.
The residents gave the municipality seven working days to respond to their demands.
The newspaper has it on good authority that the residents will participate in weekly marches, which will disrupt the streets in town, until their demands are met.
“Until we see action from council, we will take to the streets because we are tired of empty promises made by Msukaligwa,” one leader said.
The municipality has in the past said it does not recognise informal settlements so the Highvelder will be following this story as it develops.