Swaneville community feels let down by ANC government

ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula .Photographer : Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula .Photographer : Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 23, 2024


While ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula was campaigning in Swaneville near Kagiso, in Krugersdorp, leader of the SUN Party Rasheed Gutta was engaging with families and members of the community in the area as well as those of Ebumnandini informal settlement, just on the other side of Swaneville.

As ANC supporters in minibus taxis and hired buses sang and danced in election party spirit, those who spoke to “The Star” revealed their agony on issues of service delivery.

One of these is 54-year-old father of two and widower Paul Shiringa, who after losing his wife and suffering a stroke has found the going harder after his South African identity document was cancelled along with his Mozambican one.

“My problem started after I lost my wife in 2022. I had already suffered a stroke that left me unable to provide for myself in 2017. But when when I lost my wife who was taking care of us as a family, things became worse and I found myself unable to run my spaza shop. Now that my wife is no more and I don’t have an ID, I can’t provide for my family due to my disability. What is even worse, is that due to my ID issues, I can’t apply for a disability grant. So things are really difficult for me and the children,” Shiringa told “The Star”.

On our drive to Ebumnandini informal settlement, “The Star” passed by ANC supporters singing and dancing in anticipation of Mbalula’s arrival, who was due to arrive at 4pm. He hadn’t spoken by 4.25pm.

Arriving just five minutes later at Ebumnandini informal settlement, we were greeted by unpaved roads and pit toilets which, according to members of the community, are a health hazard, especially for women and children.

“Well, besides the fact that this corner where we are standing is where our mobile clinic which comes once in a while, this place is a living hell and is far removed from its name of Ebumnandini. Inside our homes we have pit toilets which are a health hazard for us as women. I have had … infections due to the fact that they are serviced once a month, and when it rains we can’t even use them as they get flooded by water and when the toilets are full, they are unusable due to the stench,” said Nomawethu Dyasi-Makokwe, a community leader of Ebumnandini.

Addressing the community of Swaneville, Mbalula urged them to vote for the ANC in spite of the challenges the ANC government has.

“We are not saying we do not have problems. We do have problems and we are the only ones who can fix them, and this is our programme as we head into the elections,” Mbalula said.

Dyasi-Makokwe, who resigned as an ANC councillor candidate after the 2016 general elections, said the governing party has for more than 24 years failed to bring service delivery to the people of Ebumnandini.

“It has been 24 years since this community came here. Even the taps we currently have and the tarred main road that you see, we had to fight to get them. These toilets are not old, they were only recently installed. When I say this is hell, I am not joking. Young girls get raped, people get killed. You can’t walk these streets after 7pm when it gets dark,” she said.

Another community member by the name of Baleseng Mahlaule said it is not uncommon for the residents of the area to go on for two weeks without electricity, even when here is no load shedding.

“Sometimes we go for two weeks without electricity, while other parts of the settlement do not have them for months. Not to mention the water problems we have because these taps do not have drainage systems. They just leak all over the place in our yards as well onto the streets,” she said.

Responding to the cries of the community, Gutta, who was on a fact-finding mission as a newly elected parliamentary representative for the SUN Party, promised to return to the community and deliver on some of their challenges.