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Department vows to assist protesting Jeppestown hostel residents

Jeppe, George Goch & Denver residents want sanitation & maintenance services reinstated.

Keith Khoza from the Gauteng Human Settlements department speaks to hostel residents during demonstrations calling for the reinstatement of sanitation and maintenance services in Johannesburg hostels. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Human Settlements Department has promised protesting Jeppestown hostel residents that their grievances are receiving the utmost attention.

Residents of the George Goch, Denver and Jeppe hostels near Johannesburg's CBD yesterday gave the city a seven-day time frame to respond to their demands for the reinstatement of sanitation and maintenance services.

They say the services were discontinued by the city at the end of March due to budget constraints.

The department's Keith Khoza says the city's team is trying to find out why residents' issues weren't resolved earlier.

"One of the things they said is that they had a meeting with the previous MEC, to raise these issues, and certain commitments were made. We will also refer to that, to get an understanding of what the commitments were that were made."

He says while the city won't realistically be able to meet residents' demands by next Friday, the matter is receiving urgent attention.

Meanwhile Sipho Mncube from the George Goch hostel says government should take their demands seriously.

"They should stop making people fools. They think everyone in the hostels are uneducated and unimportant."

Meetings between hostel chiefs and city officials are expected to take place next week.

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