Residents from an informal settlement named Angola in Kliptown (south of Johannesburg) continue to demand proper housing. Residents say they are living under poor conditions in small shacks, where they have to walk in each other’s sewerage water and they cannot even sleep in rainy weather because of the flooding and leaks.
According to Aaron, a resident of Angola, people from other surrounding settlements have been receiving government housing and services. “But what happened to us? No one worries about our settlement.” He spoke about an informal settlement not far from Angola named Mandela Square. Aaron said the residents from this settlement had electricity installed in their shacks and some have been given RDP houses.
Aaron said; “we try to raise our demands but they don’t care about us. They are always busy. We strike but they never get back to us, they send police to shoot at us. We try our best to survive and yet they can’t deliver simple services such as electricity, houses and sometimes they cut our water supply.”
“The community is really not taken seriously because we are poor and we don’t have resources,” Aaron concluded.
Another resident said; “In winter because we don’t have electricity we have to make fires and use ‘mbawulas’ in our house”. A ‘mbawula’ is a fire which is made inside a big 20 litre paint tin with holes in it. This way of making fire may create heat but it is harmful when people put their mbawulas inside their houses because the carbon monoxide gas that is released by the mbawula can kill if inhaled for long.
Some people in the settlement have lost their lives because of this hazard and some have lost close family members and friends but still nothing has been done.
This article was submitted on 26 February 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.