The ongoing differences between Barcelona residents and their councillor Bongani Ngcombolo over the provision of janitorial services could soon spread onto the busy N2 highway, and potentially affect morning or afternoon rush hour traffic, as the community is threatening to protest.
Tensions are already simmering between Mr Ngcombolo and residents as they say portable toilets have not been emptied and cleaned since Thursday March 23.
In addition to the alleged failure to provide essential services, he is also accused of demolishing a shack on Wednesday March 29, which further angered the community.
Residents are now threatening to put the portable toilets on the streets and barricade the roads.
They have been forced to use the full and stinking toilets and in some areas the toilets are stacked on the street.
Concerned residents have had to cover them up to protect children from the health hazard.
Residents say they want the ANC to investigate and monitor the councillor.
They feel that he is not doing his job, but instead is tormenting people who did not vote for him.
Community activist Mawethu Tafane accused Mr Ngcombolo of ruling with an iron fist.
“He is out of hand. He is no longer serving the people but his friends and cronies,” he said.
“He has forgotten where he comes from. We cannot blame the contractor that cleans here but Mr Ngcombolo. He has refused to sign contracts of the people who are suppose to work,” Mr Tafeni said, adding that they have tried to communicate with him but in vain.
“He never avails himself to us. We are in this trouble simply because of him. What he forgets is that he taught us where to take buckets when they are full. During the previous councillors he taught us to take buckets to their houses and on the N2. We will be soon be left with no choice but to take them to where he taught us,” Mr Tafane said.
Another resident, Lindiso July, said clean toilets in proper working order were a dream for residents which now seemed even more unlikely due to the tension between them and the councillor.
“All he does is send police to arrest people. He has never had meetings with us ever since he is a councillor. You wonder what is the ANC saying about such people. I blame the party for not monitoring these people after they have been elected to positions. All we need is service,” he said.
Mr Ngcombolo, however, disputed the claims that he does not care about Barcelona. He said those who accused him had lost in the elections could not accept defeat.
“I do not sign contracts. Fezeka (local municipal office) does that. These are people who do not want to accept defeat. They are trying to stop development in the area. All they said, it’s all lies. They are the ones to blame,” he said.
Provincial ANC spokesperson Yonela Diko conceded that the organisation was guilty of not monitoring councillors and said this was on the agenda of the party’s policy conference.
“This is one of the issues we neglected as a party. Actually that contributes to poor service delivery. It is something that we are going to address. Councillors have signed performance agreements but that is not enough. We will soon go around and monitor them. In fact we have started with that in some areas,” he said.
Mayoral committee member for area central, Siyabulela Mamkeli promised to speak to the sub-council chairperson about the issue. He admitted that there was a problem in the area.
Mr Mamkeli said last year there had also been a similar problem when rubbish was not collected.