Residents of Nteleni, at Ezinqoleni near Port Shepstone on the KZN south coast, must walk long distances to the Umzimkhulwana River to fetch drinking water or wash their clothes.
If they want to leave the area, they have to walk about 8km to the bus stop on the other side of the river. Cars and taxis can’t get across the rocky river as the water level is always too high.
Now, the residents are vowing not to take part in next year’s elections because they feel neglected. Topping their list of needs is a bridge and a safe water supply.
Catherine Mzobe (56) said it humiliates them to share water with horses, cattle, goats and even donkeys.
“We are not going to toyi-toyi we will reserve our vote until the government pays attention to us,” she said.
She said contractors arrived in the area last year to build a bridge but never got close to finishing it.
Local councillor Hawukile Mbatha said development projects in the area had been disrupted due to political wrangling in the area.
“But everything has been sorted out now. A new contractor has been appointed to finish the bridge soon. I can assure the residents of Nteleni that their water and bridge problems will be over soon,” said Mbatha.