JHB residents give City 7 days to respond to demands

JHB hostel residents are demanding better sanitation after local government cut services in March.

The ANC’s Keith Khoza was on hand to accept the memorandum on behalf of Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Residents of the Denver, Jeppe and George Goch hostels in Jeppestown have given the City seven days to respond to their demands for better sanitation and maintenance in their homes.

A large group of protesters ended their demonstrations in the City after handing a memorandum to an African National Congress (ANC) official.

They say local government discontinued these services to all three hostels at the end of March due to budget constraints.

While a planned march to the City of Johannesburg's offices was called off, residents say their voices have been heard.

George Goch resident Sipho Mncube says they're simply asking for basic services to be reinstated.

"Who wants to live in a dirty place? All the maggots and flies everywhere? It's no place for a human."

The ANC's Keith Khoza was on hand to accept the memorandum on behalf of Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile.

He says meetings between the city and hostel chiefs will be organised next week

"They said within seven days, but we are hopeful that a meeting will be arranged with the hostel Ndunas (leaders) before the seven days expire, to look at a practical way to look at their issues."

Residents have now returned home saying they're hopeful government will take action.

The human settlement department says while the City won't be able to resolve all the demands within the given time frame, their concerns are receiving urgent attention.

Spokesperson Keith Khoza says while residents have given the city seven days to respond in writing, meetings are expected to be held between hostel chiefs and the city next week.

Mncube says hostel dwellers deserve services like anyone else.

"We are all people and we all living in the same environment, regardless of where you are from or where you stay right now. People living in hostels are also people, we deserve the services that other people are getting."

Another man says they are wary of government's promises as various meetings have been held in the past - with little results.

"We tried to set up a meeting with Sibongile Mlotshwa, and that meeting never materialised. The residents of the hostel and the informal settlements around the hostels, we feel are not being treated equally."