By Michele Clarke MPL, DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Benoni:
Residents of the Barcelona informal settlement in Ekurhuleni have spent the last 21 years living in conditions that are an affront to their basic human rights.
The majority of residents have no access to basic services – despite numerous attempts to have these critical needs brought to the attention of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM).
Community members petitioned the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to have their grievances heard, and subsequently, water tankers were brought in to the area to ease the situation.
However, this is not a viable solution.
The community have now petitioned for the removal of their ward councillor and tabled a petition of no confidence in the EMM to perform its duties.
When asked what steps EMM Mayor, Mondlie Gungubele, had taken to address this issue – I was provided with the terse and empty phrase “… the Municipality have committed to continue providing services and ultimately eradicating informal settlements in line with the Human Settlements Turnaround Strategy.
Residents of Barcelona cannot continue to live in a manner that strips them of their dignity and deprives them of their basic human rights.
I will write to Gauteng Human Settlements MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, and request that his department monitor the EMM and ensure that they fulfil their constitutional obligations to the people of Barcelona.