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'We won't vote' - Clermont residents ahead of Ramaphosa's May Day address

Residents also allege that they were subjected to police brutality on Monday after they staged a protest on water cuts.

eThekwini municipal workers protesting over claims of unfair promotions that favoured struggle veterans in the Durban center. Pictures: Abigail Javier/EWN

DURBAN - The residents of Nduduma, an informal settlement in Clermont where President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to address Cosatu's May Day Rally, say they will not vote in next week's elections because they have been without water for two weeks.

"A municipal water tank-truck has come into the area for the first time in the area since the water supply was cut two weeks ago. This is sign of disrespect by the eThekwini municipality because it only did this as a means to soften our anger ahead of Ramaphosa's speech," said Zibuyile Chiliza, an elderly woman who lives in a shack about two kilometres from the Ray Xulu stadium, the venue for the Cosatu rally.

"I don't see any reason to vote. We live in shacks. We are poor and live in an area better suited for pigs. Our children are educated, but they don't work. We have been without water for two weeks, our ward councillor Jabu Dlamini and Mayor Zandile Gumede have not shown face to hear our cries," continued Chiliza.

Residents also allege that they were subjected to police brutality on Monday after they staged a protest on water cuts.

"Police fired rubber bullets at us. There are people in hospital today because they were fighting for our basic needs. The people we elected failed us," said Chiliza.

On Tuesday eThekwini municipal manager Sipho Nzuza said the many areas within the municipality had experienced water and electricity cuts as a result of infrastructure damage following the Easter weekend floods that ravaged the municipality.

A strike by municipal workers within its water department over what they allege are unfair promotions of liberation fighters who have since been absorbed in the municipality has also been cited as a cause for water cuts for some residents.

"We are working very hard to ensure that all affected residents are assisted in terms of getting basic services like water and electricity. We are trying to also get private suppliers while we solve our internal issues," said Nzuza.

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