Residents of Rhulani informal settlement, outside Malamulele, have been without sanitation and other basic services for 30 years. The area was established in 1988 by the then Gazankulu government as a refugee camp for people who fled from Mozambique following civil unrest.
NGO “Limpopo Legal Solutions” has now approached the Thohoyandou High Court to compel the Vhembe District Municipality to render services to the area.
48-year-old Albert Hlavangwana has lived in the area since 1988. He came to South Africa as an 18-year-old refugee. He lives in these patchwork structures with his family.
The father of seven says several requests for services from the district municipality have fallen on deaf ears.
“We came here in 1988. Since then, we never had water; not toilets. We live in squalor. We appeal to the government to help us (with) services and a better land,” he said.
The area has over 300 households. Now an NGO has stepped in
“What prompted us to approach court to seek relief in this regard, which is to compel Vhembe District Municipality to comply with their constitutional obligations, is based in advancing human rights on behalf of communities that are under the government of SA and district municipality to see to it that their rights are respected and catered for in dignified manner,” said the NGO’s Advocate Kevin Maluleke.
The Vhembe District Municipality says it will respond to the matter in due course. The matter will be heard on the 27th of March in the Thohoyandou High Court.