Tumahole hellhole

RESIDENTS of an informal settlements in Tumahole outside Parys, Free State, have been living there for 20 years without any hope of getting new houses

The areas fall under the Ngwathe municipality, which includes Parys, Heilbron, Vredefort, Koppies and Edenville.

The Abazimele and Mbeki settlemens have no water, electricity, toilets or roads.

PAC Free State secretary Papi Mafubedu said: "The people have been living here in Abazimele for more than 20 years and the council has never attempted to give them houses.

"In 1996 the residents collected R300 and got a surveyor to check whether the land was suitable to live on.

"They found that it was but the council has been giving them the runaround. Instead of building houses, the council wanted to build a park."

Mafubedu said in 1996, the municipality moved some residents to Mbeki informal settlement.

"Some people refused to move out. The council wanted to evict them again in 2009, but we took them to court.

"The people suffer but the council is not helping them."

  • Ngwathe municipality mayor Jonas Ramokhoase said: "The budget for the new financial year covers the people. We have put money aside to deal with water shortages and other things."

The municipality's 2011-12 budget has a Parys water purification allowance for R9,792,138. There is also R500,000 for upgrading the pump station at the reservoir in Parys and R1,500,000 to upgrade the pump station in Mbeki settlement.

R1 million has been set aside for the eradication of the bucket system in Tumahole.

  • A leaked auditor-general's report has shown massive financial mismanagement of more than half a billion rand that is unaccounted for in the Ngwathe municipality.

The auditor-general found invoices showing that municipal bosses spent R180,000 on 200 tiny A5 diaries for top managers at a cost of nearly R1,000 each.

In the previous year the municipality overcharged R2,3 million for water and electricity.