Some Joe Slovo residents are calling for the removal of their ward councillor, saying he isn’t doing enough to tackle chronic problems dogging the township.
Wandisile Ngeyi took over as councillor in August 2017, following a by-election. Mr Ngeyi was born in the Eastern Cape, raised in Gugulethu and he now lives in Bothasig (“More by-election candidates announced,” Tabletalk, July 26, 2017), and, at the time, there were Joe Slovo residents who questioned whether someone who didn’t live in the area would do a good job representing their interests.
Asanda Khohlwa is one of the residents who believe those concerns have been proved correct.
“I don’t feel like he has done a lot for our community. I won’t say he hasn’t done anything, but I just don’t see his work here. The drains, potholes and general living conditions seem to have gotten worse over time. On the corner of Democracy and Freedom Way, burst drains have been flowing for nearly three weeks now. What has he done exactly?” she said.
Sibongile Kofi, of Phoenix, has been very critical of the councillor over the years and supports calls for his exit.
“I’ve tried so many times to work with him, but it seems as if he has taken a liking more to the richer and whiter communities. Joe Slovo has been ignored completely under his watch and he has even started ignoring our calls from time to time. He’s been very useless in his time in office,” said Mr Kofi.
Joe Slovo community leader Mzimkhulu Sopeni agrees with some of these sentiments.
“There have been a lot of promises made by the councillor. Two years ago, he promised to address the issue of potholes and poor drainage systems. But we are still in the same boat here in Slovo. We are in a crisis. As community leaders, we’ve discussed these issues extensively, even availing ourselves to assist the councillor and the City because we are the ones on the ground and know more about the issues,” he said.
However the councillor also has his supporters in the community. Nophelo Cosa said Mr Ngeyi had availed himself more than other councillors before him.
“He’s always willing to engage with the community at meetings and even these big issues like the rubbish in the parks and potholes, he’s tried to work to fix them. I know it’s easy to point fingers and say he isn’t doing anything for our community and neglect the good that has already been done,” she said.
Mr Ngeyi said a lot of projects had been completed and others had been started since he had taken charge.
“Joe Slovo has many issues with infrastructure, and, over the years, we’ve tried addressing them one problem at a time. In 2018, we did repairs in the sewage pipes on Freedom Way. We haven’t had major problems with that since,” he said.
However, Mr Ngeyi’s critics have accused him of only pushing for those repairs because problems with the pipes were causing problems in Milnerton (“Residents on the fence about road repairs,” Tabletalk, August 22, 2018).
Mr Ngeyi said he and the City were aware of all the issues facing Joe Slovo and there were “big multi-million rand projects” still to be set in motion to solve its problems permanently.
“We have to be mindful that these things take time, and we’ve identified that Dunoon and Joe Slovo need big intervention. The bigger issue I see here though is that the infrastructure in the area is collapsing due to the amount of people. So we also need to look at sorting out the issue of overcrowding. Which is also no small feat,” said Mr Ngeyi.