TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2016
WATER CRISIS: ZAKARIYYA PARK/VLAKFONTEIN/LEHAE: RESIDENTS CALL FOR URGENT ACTION
Residents of Zakariyya Park, Vlakfontein and Lehae near Lenasia have called on the City of Johannesburg to urgently resolve their water woes.
They have also requested an urgent meeting with Mayor Herman Mashaba and residents have called an urgent public meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening.
Since the beginning of November, the three areas have been experiencing severe water stoppages.
Over the past two weeks, the situation has worsened and most taps are dry.
Residents says they have phoned Joburg Water repeatedly with no joy.
“We are given excuse after excuse for the water cuts and the low pressure
including that the reservoir is dry, the level of the Vaal Dam is low and the infrastructure is damaged,”
said spokesperson for residents, Junaid Hussain.
Residents says they have contacted their ward councillor Ace Mokenyane.
“Two weeks later, we are still waiting for assistance,” added Hussain.
One of the worst hit areas is Zakariyya Park Combined School where teaching and learning is affected.
Learners are being released from school early every day because of the health risks.
“This is impacting on effective learning and teaching.
“School Principal T.F.Masher has been constantly phoning the water department to place water tankers at the school since the problem began. None have been provided to date,” said an educator at the school.
Local resident Pastor Krish Matura has appealed to residents to stand united in resolving the crisis.
Vlakfontein resident Zanele Ndlovu says she is frustrated. “Only some homes have water in my area and others are dry.”
Residents are furious and anger is growing by the hour.
“We are being ignored and people are fed-up. We also call on the Gauteng Government and National Dept of Water to assist us,” said Resident Sameer Yousuff.
He said tankers were deployed to the area but supply is not enough and people have to wait in long queues.
A delegation of residents approached social activist Yusuf Abramjee to assist them urgently.
In a series of tweets, Abramjee (@abramjee) called on Mayor Mashaba and the City of Johannesburg to urgently resolve the water crisis.
“Water is a basic human right. Yes, we have a drought and we all have to all save water. But these communities are suffering and their taps keep on running dry. Joburg Water needs to address the problem with urgency,”
He said he informed Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokhonyane of the problem who said “it has to be resolved with Joburg Water.”
Abramjee appealed to Mayor Mashaba to “meet with residents and resolve the crisis.”
Sameer Yousuff 0727862991
Social activist Yusuf Abramjee presented a copy of his coffee table book #Hajj2016 #AbramjeeOnHajj to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula & his wife Nozuko today. One copy was presented to their daughter Nonkululeko (10) for St Stithians College Library.
Hundreds of books are to be donated to libraries and proceeds of the book are going to charity. The book has 400 photographs taken from a camera phone of the pilgrimage.
At the launch in Cape Town yesterday, Abramjee emphasised the spirituality and peaceful aspects of the religion through the lens of the greater Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. It’s a pilgrimage millions of Muslims undertake at least once in their lifetime – if they can afford to do so – to fulfil one of Islam’s five pillars.
At the end of Abramjee’s first Hajj pilgrimage this year, he documented his experience with more than 12 000 photos captured with his Iphone 6 Plus.
The photos have been condensed in an A3-size landscape hardcover, which was launched at the Centre for the Book yesterday.
Abramjee will donate the proceeds to Awqaf South Africa and Crescent Lifestyle for their Hajj programme. Copies of the hardcover will also be donated to libraries in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Speaking on behalf of Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Catherine Constantinides said the book provided insight into the lives, desires and journeys of Muslims in South Africa and around the world. In Mthethwa’s opinion, this was a definition of “ubuntu”.
“The book belongs to all and inspires others to build an inclusive society,” Mthethwa’s note stated.
Independent Media chief executive and chairperson of Sekunjalo Investments, Dr Iqbal Survé, said it was important for South Africans to document their own stories, given the country’s chequered history.
“What Yusuf has done, he is documenting the stories. Not just the story of the Hajj but his story and the stories of those who went with him on Hajj.
“It is important that we must not forget and always document the memories, the stories of our people. If you do not document it, those in power are going to be the ones who will do the documenting,” Survé said.
Wednesday is a public holiday. Many of us with be spending the day with family and friends, having a braai, shopping or just relaxing…
The one thing we must do is to ensure we go out and vote. Polls open at 7am and close at 7pm.
22 years into out democracy, we cannot sit back and think it’s okay not to vote because it’s a waste of time.
Your vote counts. Every person registered to vote must make their mark. Your X counts.
And remember, your vote is your secret.
Local government elections are important. The “bread and butter” issues affect all of us. We need effective delivery and we need our municipalities to deliver on basic services.
We expect only the best service from whoever is going to govern our city after Wednesday’s polls. We need councillors who will serve us with commitment and dedication.
There has been fierce canvassing over recent weeks. Political parties want your vote. When you make your X ensure they deserve it.
Elections will come and go. We have a great democracy and we must all ensure we do our bit. We must hold our public officials to account.
Good luck for Election Day. Let’s wish all the candidates well and it’s your right to vote for a candidate and a party of your choice.
Whatever the outcome of the polls, we must accept it. We must not take the law into our own hands like some did a few weeks ago by protesting violently and looting because they were not happy with a mayoral candidate.
Let #Elections2016 be peaceful. The independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has a track record of running polls efficiently. We are confident of yet another free and fair election. It’s the third local government elections we are having since the dawn of democracy 22 years ago.
If you fail to make your X on Wednesday, you have little reason to complain about local government services. With your vote we will be able to have a high percentage poll.
Tshwane is the capital city. We are all proud residents of this city.
*Yusuf Abramjee is a Social Cohesion Advocate, Play Your Part Ambassador and Community Activist. Twitter: @abramjee
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