Mayor takes pop-up office to Joe Slovo and Phoenix

Children performed a song and dance for the mayor.

Joe Slovo and Phoenix residents complained to mayor Patricia de Lille about poor living conditions and empty promises when she took her pop-up office to the neighbourhoods last week.

Accompanied by area north Mayco member Suzette Little and Ward 4 councillor Wandisile Ngeyi, Ms De Lille went on a walkabout in Joe Slovo and visited Masikhululeke Educare Centre.

The pop-up office is part of a City campaign to improve relations between the municipality and its residents. It’s also a chance for residents to tell the mayor about problems in their neighbourhoods.

Phumelele Jonas, chairperson of the Joe Slovo Development Forum, said Joe Slovo was too overcrowded and he accused the City of making empty promises.

“One other thing that bothers me is that the mayor is here today to make more promises of what she and the City can do for us, but she is vacating her position as mayor soon,” he said.

In August, the DA leader Mmusi Maimane confirmed that Ms De Lille had resigned as the Cape Town mayor and would continue her duties until October 31.

Ms De Lille said there was overcrowding in many communities and the City was working with them to solve the problem.

“We always try to hold discussions with community leaders to find sustainable solutions with the communities,” she said.

One resident jumped up and pointed out that there was a big sewage problem in Joe Slovo and every day, there was at least one burst sewage pipe.

Ms De Lille said the City was ploughing a lot of money into the problem.

“Even though we put so much money into solving this, the one contributor to this is overcrowding. We all have to work together to solve many of our issues. Often we find that people open their homes to other families and that puts significant strain on the sewage pipes,” she said.

During her walkabout, Ms De Lille stopped in Democracy Way, where there was a burst sewage pipe, and residents there told her it was a constant problem.

Ms De Lille encouraged the community to always report any faults that needed the City’s attention.

She called the water and sanitation department and they said they would arrive within the hour.

Joe Slovo Crisis Committee member, Noxolo Mayeki, said some homes did not have electricity and living conditions were poor.

“We have some of our family members living with us in shacks adjacent to our homes.

“They don’t even have electricity, so we provide it even though we sometimes do it through illegal connections. What are we meant to do? I would think having access to electricity is a basic human right,” she asked.

Ms De Lille said such connections were not only illegal but very dangerous, especially for children.

The mayor joined the children at the Masikhululeke Educare Centre as they sang the national anthem and some nursery rhymes.

When the preschool’s principal, Nokuzola Dlabantu, said they did not have enough space, Ms De Lille said she would donate a container to the school that it could use for storage.

Ms Dlabantu thanked the mayor and hugged her.