Elza van Lingen MP
DA Constituency Leader: Kouga and NCOP member
The second serious protest action by the people of the informal settlements at St Francis Bay resulted once again in an illegal march and burning tyres at two places blocking the road from Humansdorp to Cape St Francis at St Francis Bay.
The main issue is the additional housing required in Sea Vista and the lack of progress made on this issue in spite of the promises made after the protests in May 2013. The community in the informal settlements are also requesting access to electricity.
After the previous protest the municipal manager Sydney Fadi addressed a community meeting in Sea Vista where he did listen to the issues raised and then when he responded, we believe he tried to be as transparent as possible with the residents of the area, especially in terms of the housing developments for Sea Vista. The execution and follow up work had not been done as promised.
Progress reporting is not a favourite activity of the ANC-led Kouga Council.
At least the municipality has made progress on formalising our informal settlements to improve the living conditions of our people. The municipality has made progress in supplying electricity to Polla Park and Shukushukuma in Kwanomzamo, Humansdorp.
This happened only after the DA promised residents in this area to take a petition directly to the Office of the Premier. It was only after that visit to the Premier’s Office that progress was made and then of course the ANC played politics and only supplied electricity just before the elections.
Our question therefore is: “Why is the municipality and the ANC-led council not responding to the issues raised in Sea Vista by the DA and in the May 2013 protests?” The time has come for us to take a stand to support the cries of all our Sea Vista residents on service delivery, electricity and housing.
The DA will raise these issues with the municipal manager and in council to ensure there is an open debate on how council will address them and then hold the ANC executive accountable.
We will also engage with the community to keep everyone informed on the progress of the processes and who must be held responsible for each and every commitment made to resolve the issues.
It should never be necessary for residents of any area in Kouga to resort to illegal protest actions to drive issues which the ANC-led Kouga Council fails to address. The ANC is once again failing the people of Kouga with poor service delivery and no credibility when it comes to their election or other promises.