On Thursday, the Social Justice Coalition, as well as residents from the areas of Philippi, Kraaifontein and Khayelitsha marched to the Cape Town Civic Centre to highlight their extreme lack of basic services.
Approximately 500 residents from Ses’khona in Philippi East, Nkandla in Kraaifontein, and Island, Green Point and KK section in Khayelitsha, called out the City of Cape Town for having failed in its constitutional mandate to provide basic services to it’s people.
The residents of these areas have no access to running water, proper sanitation, electricity and proper housing or refuse services. Residents said the City has chosen to side-line the poor and so-called black people.
Among the demands were a meeting to layout concerns to Mayor before December 13th, access to clean water, taps with drains, sanitation, electricity and refuse collection.
Placards demonstrated their frustrations, with some reading “The right to water is the right to life” and others calling out the City’s reduced allocation of R1 million for the installation of water sandpipes for all informal settlements.
Some residents said the lack of water has led to their children being sent home from school for being dirty. The high crime rate in the areas without electricity also leaves many vulnerable to robbery.
Co-head of Programmes at Social Justice Coalition Musa Gwebani said the demands are not unrealistic.
Gwebani added that the people want their faith in the City restored, or it could risk losing votes.
“We really hope to have leaders who are willing to engage and participate with the people. We are hoping those who have come into power will see the value of speaking to communities and engaging with communities about their needs.” said Gwebani.
The memorandum of demands was received by the City’s executive director of safety and security Richard Bosman. Bosman said it will be handed to Cape Town mayor Dan Plato and a response can be expected in 10 days.