WOMEN FORCED TO BUILD THEIR OWN TOILETS IN RURAL TRANSKEI

Women have been forced to do the job of providing proper toilets for their households themselves while the Eastern Cape government claims it is blissfully unaware of the shocking lack of accountability over a tender for long-hoped for services for the community of Ward 6 in Ntsizwa in Mount Ayliff in rural Transkei.

Instead of constructed toilets there are empty trenches. The approximately 100 households of Ward 6 have been waiting for decades for proper ablution while the powers-that-be look the other way.

This is once again a prime example of the ruling party’s inability to ensure accountability and to do proper monitoring.

In June I asked a question for oral reply in the Eastern Cape Legislature about the status of the work on the toilets for Ward 6 in Ntsizwa, but the answer from the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Gqobana, was so unsatisfactory that I decided to visit the area myself.

According to the MEC, “the matter has been dealt with by the Alfred Nzo District Municipality and the sanitation project has been completed”. This is not the case. What I found was a situation that made me want to cry.

It is alleged by community members that the contractor is not paying his sub-contractors, who in turn are starving and without accommodation. It is also alleged that the contractor employs new people, because those sub-contractors who do not get their money, simply leave. A sub-contractor told me that he had been in Ntsizwa since January and had last been paid in February. He wants to go home to Mqanduli, but no-one can lend him the money – they are all too poor.

While the MEC is under the impression that the matter has been resolved, sub-contractors allege that they have dug the trenches for the new toilets, but they have not been paid. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that material is now being dropped next to the road and people having to fetch it themselves if they want their toilets to be built. Women are complaining that the concrete slabs are too heavy for them.

Where is the dignity that the ANC was heckling about in the Western Cape, when these rural Transkei women have to do such work themselves? Where is the service delivery?

The DA calls on MEC Gqobana for urgent intervention not only in sorting out the mess in Ntsizwa, but also for an investigation into the claims by the Alfred Nzo District Municipality that the matter had been resolved, when it clearly has not.

The DA will not rest and will continue to point out theses discrepancies between what the provincial government says and what really goes on within our communities. The voters cannot be fooled by empty promises by the ruling party forever.

For further information, please contact Veliswa Mvenya, MPL on 0824187916