Residents from the Eastern Cape are fed up with the lack of service delivery in their respective municipalities. People from Makhanda and Nelson Mandela Bay are raising money to fix the problems, like potholes. The people are stepping up to relieve the pressures their respective local authorities are under.
The residents are using the Jerusalema Dance Challenge that has went viral across the world to raise money to fix their potholed roads that have even caused accidents. Event organiser Anna- Marie Herselman says the dance was just the motivation they needed.
“Its been such a tough year for everyone and I just thought this would be a great way to bring Grahamstown together and to raise funds to fix the potholes. I’m a driving school instructor and I know how dangerous these holes can be”
For the past four years these residents have been attending to their own services – raising as much money as they can. The situation is so out of hand that even the court ruled that the council must be disbanded.
However, the decision is being appealed by the provincial government. The administrator for the Makana Revive organisation, Lisa Gaybba, says the lack of services from Makana Municipality forced them to intervene.
“The municipality has been struggling to keep on top of their maintenance, service delivery and they are having endless trouble with their staff when it comes to payroll, their focus on service delivery is hampered because of the situation they are having and it has become pertinent to have social societies groups get together.”
Makana mayor, Mzukisi Mpahlwa, says the municipality needs more than R300 million to fix the town’s roads.
“These are very tough times and we appreciate projects like this to help the municipality. This is not the first time, you remember that Makana revives also came together when they saw the potholes, raised funds, and fixed the potholes. We really appreciate it because the Makana municipality on its own would not be able to fix these potholes.”
The same scenario is playing out in Ward 53 in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. The formal settlement has not seen a tarred road since its inception. This situation is worsened by leaking pipes with the water eroding the road.
Residents have to walk to reach public transport as the road is not fit to drive on. Zoliswa Duma lives here and says they have reported the problem, to no avail.
“We are tired. So now we putting money together to fix the leak that will fix our road. This is the guy is from the community he is going to do it. We gave money from out of our pockets to fix this because it is very dangerous.”
Political analyst Ongama Mtimka says residents taking matters to their own hands can have consequences.
“That there are systems which allow citizens to live separately from the state – to attend to their own service delivery. However, it brings in complications when it comes to public safety. A few metros do allow citizens to attend to public service and then claim back that money from them.”
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality was not available for comment.