Marikana lot not happy with one street lamp

Residents in crime embattled Marikana, in Philippi, have thrown cold water on efforts by the City of Cape Town to root out crime in their neighbourhood.

Last week, mayor Patricia de Lille switched on a 30 metre-high-mast lamp post in the area in the quest to brighten up the neighbourhood and root out crime.

Instead of celebrating, residents accused the City of making empty promises while they(residents) continue to suffer at the merciless hands of criminals.

According to them, the post is a drop in the ocean and is not going to change anything.

“It is still dark here, so we are not happy,” said community leader Loyiso Nkqintiza. He accused De Lille of falling short on her promise of nine lights and road infrastructure.

“When we(last) spoke to her, she promised us nine street lamps, but she is now talking about five, which will not be enough for the area,” said Nkqintiza.

Ntomboxolo Ngxabazi was also not impressed.

“The light was meant to be switched on in December, but that never happened. Our community is known for being problematic, but if she would just give us what she promised, we will not ask for anything else,” she said.

Xolani Koyana, spokesperson for De Lille, said the City had always committed to installing five lights.

He added that the City had to get permission from the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) to install lights in the area as it was on flights path.

Ward 35 councillor Mboniswa Chitha said De Lille also promised to build roads. He said some people would have to move, but it was not clear where they would go to. Chitha said they needed roads for police, fire brigades and ambulances to have easy access to the area.

Ngxabazi said: “If a house burns, it burns to the ground because fire fighters can’t go in, especially at night”.

Koyana said the City and the De Lille made it clear to the community leadership that the area, like many other informal settlements, was the subject of a court case. The parties are to meet soon..