Open Letter to Gauteng MEC Concerning the Unhealthy and Unsafe Living Conditions in Khutsong

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This is an open letter to Member of the Executive Council (MEC), Lebogang Maile, of the Merafong Local Municipality and West Rand District (in Gauteng), about the unhealthy and unsafe living conditions in your localities.

We, the residents of Khutsong, Khutsong Ext 3, Khutsong South Ext 2, Khutsong South Ext 4, in Carletonville, Merafong City, wish to bring to your kind notice the unhygienic and unsafe conditions prevailing in our locality. Our townships are dirty and smelly, with sewer waste everywhere and little to no lighting. We are troubled by the poor living conditions in this locality.

The municipality has failed to provide residents with tax invoices or statements for the past five years. In ward 12, the municipality has not provided wheelie bins since March 2015. There are no street lights, and crime is very high.

Sewerage and rubbish overflowing:
All of the side canals are blocked and overflowing onto the roads. This dirty water has become breeding places for mosquitoes. Bleaching powder has to be sprinkled here at least once a week by residents. Sinkholes and sewer trucks are further developing the crisis. The sewer truck are also not helping the situation in our townships. Most sinkholes in our township, especially in wards six, seven, and nine, are caused by leaking water and sewer pipes belonging to the municipality.

For weeks now, rubbish has not been collected and dustbins have yet to be set up in the streets. Proper steps for improving the sanitary conditions of this area have to be taken up urgently. Without such action the health of the residents will be unfairly affected.

Street lights not working:
We would also like to draw your attention to the poor maintenance of street lights in Merafong City, and in our townships. There are few street lights existing in town and our townships, most of which are not working or are in very poor condition: providing dim lighting which is of very little to no use to us residents. These poor street lights which fail to light up the roads and surrounding areas are clearing the path for muggers and other offenders to take over the public space at night. Women and children are targeted by this and so are especially afraid to walk on the street at night when they are coming home from school, work or outings. The poor lighting is also leading to motor vehicle accidents on vulnerable roads.

We demand high mast lights in our townships, so as to prevent crime in our areas. We also demand direct supply of electricity from Eskom. The municipality has been switching off our electricity without any notice for years now. This shows that the municipality has no respect for its residents: they have violated our dignity and environmental rights.

Local residents have been reporting this to local authorities but to our dismay no action whatsoever has been taken on these matters so far.

We therefore have no choice but to approach your goodness, seeking your help and attention in this urgent matter.

Kindly instruct the appropriate authority to take immediate action on the repair and replacement of damaged street lights; leaking pipes causing sinkholes; as well as on addressing sanitation concerns in our townships.

Khutsong Action Group Association

This statement was submitted on behalf of Khutsong Action Group Association on 28 October 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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