Frustrated Durban residents march over lack of basic services

“We are not being taken serious by the municipality”

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Photo of protesters
Residents of Enkanini in Cato Crest informal settlement in Durban say they have been without proper sanitation since August 2017. Photo: Nomfundo Xolo

Scores of frustrated Enkanini residents from Cato Crest informal settlement marched to the Human Settlements office in Durban on Friday demanding to be included in the City’s development projects.

Zithulele Mbonani from the office of Human Settlements accepted a memorandum of demands delivered by a crowd of Abahlali baseMjondolo members. Abahlali is a social movement campaigning against evictions and for the rights of shack dwellers. Their demands included proper and dignified sanitation and the provision of communal taps.

“We were promised electricity, water as well as functioning toilets. We were told there would be development in the communities since 2017, but still nothing has been provided,” said Mqapheli Bonono, a community leader and Abahlali member.

The residents of Enkanini were granted a court interdict by the Durban High Court allowing them to occupy the area, which they did in August 2017. A year later, no services have been provided.

“Since January [2018] we were promised a pilot project that would bring interim services to the people but we are still without proper sanitation,” said Bonono. “The people are tired and taking to the streets has been our very last resort. We are not being taken serious by the municipality and Human Settlements. That is why we took to the streets today to express our anger and show that we will not tolerate inhumane treatment any longer.”

Bonono says they have made numerous attempts to discuss the issues with ward councillor Warren Burne (DA) but that he has been unavailable and offered no assistance.

GroundUp tried numerous times to call Burne but his phone goes straight to voicemail.

TOPICS:  Sanitation

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