Inxuba Yethemba ‘worst place to live in SA
Authorities ‘can’t even replace bulbs in the streetlights’
Stray animals, uncollected refuse, bad roads, no fire trucks, no streetlights, aging water infrastructure and sewage overflowing into the river are some of the challenges of living in Cradock and Middleburg.
The towns fall under Inxuba Yethemba local municipality, which has been named the worst municipality to live in the country by its residents and the business forum.
Forum chair Charels Featherstonehaugh said the municipality had no money to do its core function of bringing services to the people.
“According to mayor Ray Shweni, the municipality owes Eskom R70m and other creditors R120m. With those debts, there is no money for any service delivery. In Cradock there is one refuse truck and there are areas where refuse is not collected for over a month.”
Featherstonehaugh said the roads were bad and streetlights did not work, and that was affecting business badly.
“There is no equipment and they can’t even replace bulbs in the streetlights. This is the worst municipality to live in for service delivery. Stray animals roam around town. The landfill site is burning all the time and the smoke is putting people at risk of lung diseases,” he said.
The municipality had no money yet the mayor and speaker had new cars, he added. “They employed a driver for the speaker without even looking at the financial problems of the municipality.”
Featherstonehaugh complained that sewage was running into the Fish River, which is used for irrigation by farmers as well as drinking by people living on farms downstream.
“We wrote letters to water affairs minister Gugile Nkwinti after raw sewage was pumped straight into the river for eight days when the sewerage system was not working.
“The water infrastructure is old and there are areas that go more than three days without water,” he said.
Handri Voster from Middleburg said service delivery in their town was non-existent.
“Our fire truck broke seven weeks ago and it has not been fixed. When we ask the municipality, they say they don’t have the money. The roads are bad and refuse is not picked up in KwaNozame, Lusaka, Midros and Rosmead,” she said.
Voster said there were no stop signs, signposts or basic equipment. “Our roads are death roads because of potholes and stray animals in town.”
DA councillor Bettie Lawens said refuse had not been collected for five weeks in Cradock and residents were starting to dump it in open spaces.
“Sewage is overflowing into people’s houses. The river and the centre of town stink with sewage,” she said.
Inxuba Yethemba spokesperson Sonwabise Panziso denied that refuse was not collected, stating that it was only last week that they had not picked it up and that was due to the rainy and cold weather.
“The process of fixing the fire truck is continuing as we are following proper procurement procedures and the service provider will be paid before September 14,” he said.
Chris Hani District municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mqamelo did not respond to questions sent to her on the sewage spills. Mayor Shweni promised to respond via e-mail to the questions sent to him by the Dispatch...