Langa residents live in dire conditions

Langa temporary relocation area resident Nosakhe Mangaliso and her son live in a soaked shack almost every day of their lives. The family wants drastic measures to be taken to fix the leaking drains and taps in the area.

Residents of a temporary relocation area (TRA) in Langa who are living alongside gushing sewerage and leaking taps say the municipality continues to ignore their pleas for help.

The frustrated residents said the situation they live under is dire.

They claimed that when they were relocated there 15 years ago, after a fire destroyed shacks in Joe Slovo, they were promised it would only be for a short period of time.

However, that promise has not been kept and they are still living in the waterlogged area.

One TRA resident, Nosakhe Mangaliso, said the drains and taps have always been a problem.

What makes things worse for her is that the drain is right in front of her shack.

The community said they had reported the drain and tap leakage to their councillor and the City but nothing had been done.

Ms Mangaliso dreams of leaving the area but isn’t sure that will ever happen.

“I do not know how many times we have reported the matter.

“There are municipal workers who work at the communal toilets, they know the story.

“They also referred us to the City but nothing has happened.

“From what I know, politicians do not keep their promises,” she told Vukani.

The TRA households share toilets and taps.

“There is no day when it is dry here.

“The shacks are always wet. The sad part is that children get sick so often.

“My neighbour’s child has a rash as we speak. The shacks are floating in water.”

When Vukani visited the area on Thursday March 12, pools and rivers of stagnant water could be seen.

“But some residents were doing their chores as normal, some doing washing near the greenish water.

Ms Mangaliso said she is pleading for decent housing and service delivery. “I am tired of living in water.

“I guess I speak for many . Clean water is wasted and diseases are not far here,” said Ms Mangaliso.

The situation is much the same down the road in Esikwatini Hostel, although this is not an informal residence.

A pile of rubbish with rodents running around is a sore sight.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, responded by saying that the City’s human settlements directorate has already relocated five families so the water and waste directorate could complete the necessary repairs.

Asked how long people would remain in the TRA, he said: “People voluntarily stay in a TRA until such time as they are eligible for a housing opportunity, should they qualify. It must be emphasised that TRAs offer emergency housing assistance. The assistance is thus offered for as long as the individual’s emergency persists,” he said.

He encouraged residents to register on the City’s housing database to be considered for housing opportunities should they qualify and should housing opportunities become available.

He denied that municipal services are not rendered.

He said all have access to basic municipal services on a shared basis.

Mayoral committee member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg, said work was conducted and completed in the area last month. She said the City’s water and sanitation department was not aware of this recent complaint (had no record of complaint) until receipt of the enquiry from Vukani.

She promised that theCity’s maintenance teams would revisit the area to conduct an investigation.

“Throughout Cape Town, the majority of sewer blockages are caused by misuse of the sewer system, especially rags, newspapers, condoms and feminine hygiene products as well as fat and oil, which causes foreign objects to stick to each other and build upon the inside of pipes.

“If we are going to see a big improvement in this area we will need residents to ensure that they only allow water, toilet paper, and human waste into the drains,” she said.

The City said residents are advised to submit water-related queries and faults via the following channels:

SMS to 31373

Phone 0860 103 089 (option 2)

Send an email to water@capetown.gov.za

On the City’s website www.capetown.gov.za, click on ‘City Connect’