Angry Emfuleni residents threaten to boycott by-elections

Some residents of Sebokeng don’t believe that taking part in tomorrow’s by elections will change their desperate need for proper service delivery.

Emfuleni residents queue for water on 8 January 2018 amid water cuts in the municipality, which failed to honour its payment arrangement with Rand Water. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - With uncertainty on when water supply in some areas in the Emfuleni Local Municipality will be restored, residents on Tuesday said they didn’t believe taking part in Wednesday’s by elections would bring any change to the area.

Disgruntled residents in Sebokeng threatened to boycott the elections.

For years, community members in the embattled municipality have had to contend with persistent environmental problems including raw sewage seeping through roads, homes and even schools.

According to Rand Water, Emfuleni is in arrears of about R1 billion.

Some Sebokeng residents told Eyewitness News they didn’t believe that taking part in the by-elections would change their desperate need for proper service delivery.

“It’s like the Vaal doesn’t exist in Gauteng. This municipality must just be shut down,” said one resident.

“Even if we choose the (Democratic Alliance) – because now we are under (the African National Congress) – there’s no money in the Vaal,” said another.

Rand Water reduced the municipality’s water supply by 20% this week due to non-payment - added to this a cable fault affecting a major reservoir has now left taps in some townships in the area dry.

Emfuleni’s bank account was attached last month after the cash strapped municipality failed to pay a company contracted to install a smart water and electricity metres in back in 2013.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.