Residents of Langeni in Xhora, formerly known as Elliotdale in the Eastern Cape, live in appalling conditions with no basic services. They have appealed for assistance. The village has no water, no toilets, no electricity and no access roads.
Residents say they feel neglected by the government, despite casting their votes during elections.
Residents say they feel like they still live in the era before 1994. They say no government services have ever come their way. The only service they have access to is the payment of social grants but they have to walk for over an hour through a thick bush and cross the uMbhashe River to reach the social grant service station.
Walking is their only option and they hire donkeys and horses to carry groceries and other items home.
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Elderly residents, Makhwenkwana Nase and Nokhawuntala Mlenzana say they have lost hope.
“We don’t have an access road. We are struggling. Even our forefathers struggled. When a person dies, men carry them on their shoulders. If a woman is in labour they carry her on a ladder. Women sometimes give birth on the way while she’s carried by men. We’ve been saying the same thing but nothing comes to us. No electricity. We only see toilets when visiting other places,” says Nase.
“We have never received any services from the government here. It’s not like we don’t tell the government what we need. We do but they don’t come to us,” says Mlenzana.
Young people are also badly affected by the situation.
Peach Nase and No-Sign Zwezibini say government officials only come to the village for their own benefit.
“There are no jobs here. There’s nothing for us to do. We don’t get any services from government but we vote every time during elections. Nothing is happening. We recently voted for local government and they’re all gone. We last saw them during elections,” says Nase.
“The only time we see government officials here is during electioneering. That’s the only time we see we have a government. Then after elections, we’re done. We are now angry towards government because they have turned their back on us,” says Zwezibini.