Jack Bloom MPL
DA Leader, Gauteng Legislature
A decision is needed soon on the relocation of residents who live on dangerous dolomitic ground in the Jeffville informal settlement in Atteridgeville, Tshwane.
This is my conclusion after my visit there yesterday as part of the DA’s “Don’t forget the forgotten” campaign in Gauteng where every month I visit neglected communities and stay the night in a shack settlement. This was my 23rd such visit.
I was accompanied by Tshwane DA councillor Lot Mathibedi and local DA activists.
There are close to 10 000 people in more than 2000 shacks in Jeffville, which dates back to 1991.
They have been promised RDP houses since 1996, but nothing has come of this.
Roads in this sprawling settlement are in an appalling state. Residents told me of people who have died because ambulances can’t make their way through in an emergency.
No sanitation at all is provided by the Tshwane Metro Council. Residents provide their own pit toilets, many of them very rickety. One toilet I saw had only a canvass covering and provided little privacy.
Water is also a problem as there are only five water tanks which often run dry on the weekend.
According to Clr Mathibedi, suitable land for relocation is owned by the provincial government, but it has been slow to transfer it to the council.
Meanwhile, people in Jeffville are still investing in new structures, which is a pity as they will all eventually have to move.
I spent a peaceful night in a shack owned by Ms Thelma Ngobeni.
Life is harsh for these people whose plight has been forgotten as they need to be moved soon before the dolomite causes a tragedy as ground collapses.