Desperate measure: Ebumnandini resident to vote for whoever gives her a toilet

Residents of Ebumnandini informal settlement on the West Rand say they feel dehumanised by the conditions they live in and government’s failure to address this for years.

FILE: Children play at a dumpsite in Ebumnandini on the West Rand where residents leave their waste. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Residents of Ebumnandini informal settlement on the West Rand say they feel dehumanised by the conditions they live in and government’s failure to address this for years.

Less than two months before the national elections, the community has threatened a total shut down of the area if it is not proclaimed a township.

They say the formalisation of Ebumnandini will enable them to access basic services, including proper housing.

Government says this can’t be done because of a nearby goldmine whose emission of radius gas is harmful to humans and erodes buildings.

Dikeledi More settled in Ebumnandini in 2001, a year after being moved there by the government.

Like many others, the 71-year-old was brought there from another informal settlement in Vlakfontein with the promise of a house and basic services.

Eighteen years later, nothing has changed.

“I have to ask my neighbour to use their toilet and at night, I use a bucket. Sometimes I’m even afraid to eat, in case I upset my stomach.”

More says she has tried to ask the local councillor for help.

“When she came back, she told I’m not the only one without a toilet and there are many like me.”

While the majority of residents use pit toilets, More does not even have access to this basic human necessity.

She says even though she previously voted for the ANC, this year she will vote for whoever gives her a toilet.

When asked about More's living conditions, local councillor Sylvia Monakale said she has no recollection of a conversation with More but she is ready to assist her immediately.

WATCH: No township, no vote! Ebumnandini residents threaten election shutdown