‘We want jobs, not empty promises,’ angry residents tell Ekurhuleni MEC

By Doreen Mokgolo

A group of residents from the Ekuthuleni informal settlement in KwaThema, Ekurhuleni rejected a visit by the MEC of Health and Wellness Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko as empty electioneering.

The noisy group of about 20 people confronted the MEC on Thursday and said they were not impressed by cameras and false promises. They demanded jobs and housing, as they had been promised previously. 

The group told the MEC that they were tired of politicians pretending to care about them during election season, but who then disappeared once they got their votes.

Nkomo-Ralehoko was not discouraged by the disgruntled group and told them she was there to deliver services as part of her role.  

The MEC visited the area on Monday as part of an ANC door-to-door campaign. She acknowledged that the streets in the Ekuthuleni informal settlement were covered with rubbish, pools of dirty water and animal carcasses. 

Nkomo-Ralehoko returned on Thursday morning with health workers, officials and a mobile clinic to offer residents services on-site.

Hellen Zulu, a resident of Ekuthuleni, said that over the years they had been promised jobs and houses, but those promises flew out of the window once the elections were over.

“These politicians come with their cameras to show the world that they are working in a bid to be elected. We are tired of being used by politicians,” she said.

“We are trapped in poverty because of politicians and their lies,  now we are standing up for ourselves.”

Nkomo-Ralehoko got her hands dirty as part of the clean-up, putting litter into refuse bags.

The MEC said during her visit on Monday that she could not bring health services to a dirty area.

“This is the basics of what we are doing as the Department of Health, maintaining our areas and keeping them clean,” she said. 

“We cannot have our people getting sick from a dirty environment. If we don’t act we are not helping the community, even if we bring health services to them.” 

Pictured above: MEC of Health and Wellness Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.

Image source: Doreen Mokgolo

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