The serious health risk at the Rosedale squatter camp in Uitenhage is a ticking time bomb. Yet the plight of the people living there seems to be of little concern to the Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality.

Whilst it is a fact that Erf 1 in Acacia Road in Rosedale was illegally invaded in the early part of 2007, the Metro chose to place a moratorium on evicting the squatters, until suitable alternative accommodation could be found. Two years later no solution is forthcoming from the Metro. The original 180 shacks have since increased to over 600 but the area remains without even the most basic of services.

Running water is supplied from four taps; there are no sanitary facilities or waste removal. With the ever-increasing prevalence of swine flu, combined with the dangers of outbreak of cholera or typhoid, the Metro and ultimately the provincial government is sitting on a time-bomb that could have deadly consequences.

The Democratic Alliance urges the Metro to at least consider short term solutions for the Acacia Road squatters which includes drainage, portable toilets and an immunization programme.

This is yet another chapter in the endless and repetitive narrative of empty promises and zero service delivery by the ANC government. Numerous attempts have been made by Mr. Pieter Terblanche, DA councillor for Ward 51, to get answers from the Metro about the future of the squatters of Acacia Road. We urge the MEC for Housing and Local Government, Mrs. Nombulelo Mabandla for her urgent intervention, before this community also gets added to the long list of embarrassments for the Eastern Cape government.

Attached below are the questions I have asked to the MEC responsible for Housing:
1. When will sanitation facilities be provided at the Rosedale informal settlement?
2. Why can short term sanitary solutions not be provided to this community with immediate effect?
3. In view of the severe health risks this community faces as a result of sanitation, can any immunisation process be undertaken? If so, when can this be done? If not, why not?

For further information, please contact Dacre Haddon, MPL on 0796943788