Service delivery in Ekuthuleni

Red Ants are present in Ekuthuleni, to ensure a safe working environment for labourers and contractors.

KwaThema Customer Care Centre manager Andries Nkabinde explains the need for re-blocking in the informal settlement, which hasn’t seen much development in the 23 years it has been in existence.

With no electricity, sanitation or roads, the area has been identified as one of the six prioritised informal settlements in Ekurhuleni to benefit from the project.

“Residents living close to Ekuthuleni were experiencing power outages due to the scourge of illegal connections, which were also disrupting two surrounding schools, hindering productivity,” he says.

“Moreover, emergency services and the SAPS couldn’t enter the area due to the haphazard alignment.”

The electrification is in full swing, but the community of Ekuthuleni is divided, with some residents saying they don’t want electricity in the area.

Nkabinde describes the division as a misunderstanding of the process of the roadworks, as residents will have to share stands while the routes are being excavated.

“We’ve had numerous public meetings with the community, explaining the sharing of stands as a temporary measure, with no more than three families sharing one stand; but this sparked protests and, in the process, a community leader’s house was set alight,” he says.

Nkabinde discourages this kind of behaviour, saying that if development should take place in an area, people of that area should benefit; but now it is unfortunate that they have to call on the Red Ants to monitor Ekuthuleni, because of the fear of violent protests erupting.

“It saddens me that the very same people who we sought to help, are the ones who are trying to hinder the success of the project,” explains the concerned manager.

Presently contractors are on site busy with the installation of cables, with a high presence of Red Ants on site.

“This process might take a while, because of water pipes that are not properly positioned, so we urge the community to be patient, while the contractors are busy,” Nkabinde adds.

“We apologise for any inconveniences that residents might come across going forward.”

Phelisiwe Ndala

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