30 July 2014

South Africa: Evicted Residents Still Without Services Two Years Later

In 2012, Jouberton residents were evicted from what was allegedly municipal land. Two years, more than 500 households share just three water taps.

Following their eviction, many residents moved to what is now known as the Skierlik informal settlement near Klerksdorp.

The residents of more than 500 shacks share just three taps between them, and rely on a mix of pit latrines and the bucket system. The settlement remains without electricity.

When buckets are full, residents have no choice but to dig holes in their yards into which they decant the stinking contents of buckets. Those with pit latrines say that they must dig new ones about every three months.

Jacob Mogajane is a father of two and unemployed. He talked to OurHealth about what it is like to live in the informal settlement.

"We always wake-up to the smelly conditions in our yards," he said. "The environment is unhealthy too - water is also a struggle because the tap is far away so we don't clean the bucket to use it again."

Residents have to pay R7 for local taxi to attend Jouberton's Tsholofelo Clinic in Klerksdorp or walk for 20 minutes to the nearby Alabama Clinic.

Titus Modise is one of the few young people who stay in Skierlik and says it is hard to stay hopeful that something will be done to improve the lives of residents. The inequality between Skierlik and neighbouring townships is so stark that Modise says it is often hard to believe they could be located within kilometres of each other.

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