Clean our “stinking” canal, demand Moeggesukkel shack dwellers

Nelson Mandela Bay ward councillor promises they will get water by Christmas and electricity in January

By Thamsanqa Mbovane

29 November 2023

Residents of Moeggesukkel informal settlement in Kariega have warned that they will take to the streets if the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality does not formally respond to their demands within two weeks. Photos: Thamsanqa Mbovane

About 100 residents of Moeggesukkel informal settlement in Kariega, Eastern Cape have given the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality two weeks to clean a “stinking” canal near their homes.

On Tuesday, the shack dwellers handed over a petition to an official from the office of the speaker of council. The petition prepared by the Interchurch Local Development Agency on behalf of families in about 1,240 shacks, asked Mayor Gary van Niekerk to:

Community leader Harriet Kondile complained that cattle, pigs and dogs have been grazing near the stagnant stream of water for five years.

She said that while the settlement is one of the oldest in the metro, the area was still underdeveloped. “We have 10 standpipes and some of them have had no water for over three months. We only have 10 chemical toilets which were delivered in 2020. But our people relieve themselves in the bush where there are snakes at this time of the year. We need services such as electricity, more toilets and water..and to clean the canal.”

Protester Raymond Johnson, addressing ward 53 councillor Zwelandile Tsotso (ANC), said: “Councillor, don’t promise us you will do everything, because you won’t be able to do them all. Do toilets, deliver water or install electricity. Do something,” he said.

Resident Mzwanele Malumbazo said, “We don’t have electricity, water and toilets. We burn in shacks because we use candles whilst other people are living in better conditions. Councillor, you have never set foot here for about two years. We are suffering.”

Girshwin Jansen from the Speaker’s Office accepted the residents’ petition.

“If we work together, we can achieve more. We will do our utmost best and deliver.”

Councillor Tsotso admitted that he had not been visible in the area for a long time, but promised that an electricity project for Moeggesukkel, valued at over R2-million, would start in January 2024.

He said water would be delivered before Christmas.

The group of protesters warned that they would take to the streets if their demands were ignored.

Shack dwellers want the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality to clean this polluted canal near their homes.