ANC cannot claim to lead when people live in squalor, says Jessie Duarte
"We can't say the ANC lives and the ANC leads while people live like this," ANC deputy secretary Jessie Duarte told local leaders at Galeshewe in Kimberley on Tuesday.
Duarte, accompanied by ANC national executive committee member Mondli Gungubele, visited ward four in Galeshewe as part of the build-up to the party's January 8 celebrations.
She was confronted with service delivery issues, including complaints about muddy roads and flooding inside houses during the rainy season that has left some houses with massive cracks.
Duarte said the ANC would act. "We actually don't have a choice. We have to and we are not walking away with a dismissive attitude that we saw the problem and we took pictures.
"Comrade Mondli (Gungubele) and myself, we are not tourists. For us the issue is who will we make accountable to fix these problems and that is what we are looking for now, because somebody will have to answer."
She also promised to escalate the road issue with the council.
"Apparently there was never a road here so we are not walking away with happiness in our hearts, but we thank you for your solid support and hopefully we will work together to try to solve these issues."
Some of the houses Duarte visited, which had cracks after flooding, belong to people with title deeds, which she said was also a challenge for the government.
"Once you give a person a title deed they own the house. Some houses were given title deeds in 1993. This is an old ownership issue.
"That means whatever goes wrong in that property, they themselves have to fix it. It is a sad thing in a way because for many people there is never money to fix those kinds of cracks," Duarte said.
The situation of people being given title deeds while they have no form of income, said Duarte, was problematic.
She blamed the apartheid government for this but said the ANC government, upon taking over in 1994, did nothing to correct the situation.
"Some of these title deeds were given in 1993 by the apartheid government, which left us with a nice problem of broken houses, but did we have a plan? No," said Duarte.