Ahmedy Fakroodeen | Citizen Journalist
21 July 2023: 00:00 CAT
2 min read
As you walk or drive by, the sight is an eyesore, and the stench is enough to make one vomit. When you see rats scouring the garbage, you might think you are standing on a road in a war-torn African country, but the scenario is on Sheringham Road, one of Overport’s most well-known streets.
What has caused this urban deterioration? Why does a property in the middle of a once sought-after area look like a dump site? Is it because it is situated next to an informal settlement? Is it because the property owner has lost interest and could not care less? Or is it because the vacant property has become a playground for vagrants and drug addicts?
These are the questions that the local community has been asking for the past three years. Numerous attempts by residents and Ward 31 Councillor Remona McKenzie to seek assistance from the self-destructing eThekwini Municipality have been disregarded.
The community has had enough. With the support of residents and community activists, the ward councillor chose to expose the filth, stench, and health hazard that those who reside in the vicinity have endured. Members of the media gathered to cover the story.
It remains to be seen what the municipality will do in this regard. Excuses for poor service delivery seem to be the order of the day. The potholes are still there, and the roads are still not repaired; just one example of how neglected some parts of Overport have become, albeit the prime example. If nothing is done soon, tomorrow’s generation will inherit a dump site.
This article aims to shed light on the gravity of the situation and emphasise the need for urgent action to address this systemic problem. Recent lack of access to clean water due to eroded and aged water pipes, inadequate sanitation facilities, and improper waste management have contributed to the spreading of diseases, compromising public health and well-being.
Poor municipality service delivery has eroded public trust in local governance and its perpetual cycle of neglect. When citizens witness, a lack of progress in addressing their concerns, frustration, and disillusionment prevail. The community of Overport has had enough and has chosen to reciprocate the Westville Ratepayers Association by holding the eThekwini Municipality to account by challenging the rates increase. Burdening those who reside in the eThekwini Municipality with a sharp rates increase in tough economic times and providing poor service is certainly a slap in the face and is ultimately unacceptable.