Gauteng and NW Province

Tragedy inflames burning resentment

In Kagiso, as in so many other settlements, time moves on but the appalling conditions persist
Heidi Swart

Angry residents of Kagiso, outside Krugersdorp in Gauteng, mounted a protest this week after two schoolchildren were knocked down on the busy Tudor Road, which runs through the settlement.

But the community’s resentment runs much deeper: almost 20 years after apartheid, they are still waiting for the Mogale City municipality to provide electricity and adequate water supply.

On Tuesday a seven year old girl was killed by a truck while crossing the road and later that day a young boy was run over and is still in hospital.

Eskom cannot provide electricity to an informal settlement that is not proclaimed a township, but the municipality has provided some high-mast streetlights.

Jabulani Radebe (47) has lived in Kagiso for 20 years and said nothing has changed during that time. “There’s plenty of stuff (wrong) here. Firstly it is water, people are queuing for it. There are only four taps for the whole area.”
He said there were not enough toilets and no electricity, even though the residents were promised electricity about 10 years ago.

“Use that one”, said Nomfusi Mboyisa, pointing to the third concrete cubicle in a row of five toilets, after agreeing to show me around the township. They are freestanding and for communal use. In the first the toilet bowl was stained with faeces and the floor was wet, covered with newspaper and phonebook pages – the poor person’s toilet paper.
Conditions in the third were the same.

Municipal spokesperson Nkosana Zali said there was a tap within 200m of every house and tankers provided water every day. There is one toilet for every three “families”, which is within norms…..

Mail & Guardian August 3 to 9 2012

Yeah right….. I wonder if the municipal spokesperson would be able to live under those conditions. Water is a basic right for all human beings. Please conserve water. Kagiso mall has installed rainwater harvesting – it makes perfect sense, not so? During the rainy months you don’t need to rely on these municipalities. In most suburban areas water is still safe for drinking purposes. Do you think that will last forever? Yeah right…..

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