The Johannesburg mayor visited the Diepkloof hostel on Wednesday. Kabelo Gwamanda has acknowledged the non-existent service delivery. According to the Daily Maverick, the visit came in response to weeks of service delivery protests, which recently escalated into violent confrontations.
During his visit, Mayor Gwamanda expressed shock at the squalid conditions and hardships endured by the hostel residents. He acknowledged their justified anger and questioned why the city had taken so long to address the challenges faced by the community.
“I saw the toilets, but I will not speak about the toilets because that is awful,” Mayor Gwamanda commented, emphasising the dire state of the facilities.
The Diepkloof Hostel has been plagued by decades of neglect, with residents lacking access to essential services such as electricity and clean water. They registered for RDP houses in the 1990s. However, many residents still live in the hostel because no housing developments exist.
Previously, the frustrated residents have taken to the streets, protesting against unfulfilled promises. The situation turned violent on Monday when protesters damaged media vehicles and attacked journalists. The police arrested three individuals and used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
A meeting occurred on Tuesday between the hostel indunas (leaders) and city officials. Mayor Gwamanda expressed his commitment to assess the conditions and ensure progress in line with the agreement reached between the city and the hostel leaders.
The housing crisis remains a pressing issue for Diepkloof residents. Despite the construction of houses, residents found out they would be required to pay a monthly rental fee, which many could not afford. The houses remained unoccupied. The city took steps to prevent outsiders from taking possession.
Mayor Gwamanda listened to the residents’ frustrations, who expressed their fatigue with empty promises. He assured them that the city would take action and provide oversight to ensure progress in addressing their concerns.
The city’s MMC for community safety, Mgcini Tshwaku, also visited the hostel on Tuesday and acknowledged the neglect, promising to expedite efforts to improve the situation.
The residents of Diepkloof Hostel are hopeful that these recent visits and discussions will lead to tangible improvements and a resolution to their long-standing grievances.
Follow us on Google News.