Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 08-03-2019
As South Africa’s General Elections draw near, NGO Grassroot has warned political parties that ignoring informal settlements is no longer a viable and legal option.
The organisation says these community members live in abject poverty and with no basic services for more than two decades.
One of the communities still waiting for the realization of their democratic dreams is Waterwax next to Lenasia with more than 4,200 households.
Grassroot's Mbalenhle Nkosi says among the many challenges faced by the community is the lack of electricity which leaves them no option but to resort to illegal connections.
“They know that it’s illegal, but the need their electricity so that’s one of the issues that they are facing currently.”
Meanwhile Nkosi says Grassroots also promotes participative governance with a mobile app, which is only available for Android in Playstore.
“If you are able to use a phone without airtime, that’s how Grassroots works. So that app helps people mobilize themselves and call meetings and to vote amongst themselves if they need to because we know how much data and airtime costs are in South Africa. So Grassroots helps with that platform."
Nkosi says there has to be more communication with informal settlements by political parties on an ongoing basis and not only during election periods.