Pretoria - Winterveld residents who still use pit toilets and lack basic service delivery have grown resentful of the government, as they feel neglected and used only for votes.
This is according to community leaders, dwellers and pensioners who spoke of the frustration of living in the township for more than 60 years and watching nearby townships such as Soshanguve developing while Winterveld remained stagnant.
They said there were no basic services in Winterveld, made up of mor than 1 000 privately owned plots, something that was used to “deny” them services, while their votes were collected by politicians around election time.
Residents showed the Pretoria News how people were still using dangerous pit toilets in areas such as the Vilakazi Section, which has been there for decades before parts of Soshanguve and Mabopane were established.
Elderly residents Ellioy Matawela and Solly Nkosi said they have been fighting for development in Winterveld since the apartheid regime days.
They said all they wanted was for their grandchildren to one day have was running water, tarred roads, title deeds, sanitation, but all that they got was electricity, which they paid for with their own money after scores of protests from the 1990s until 2002.
Community leaders Sam Masango and Sipho Mthimunye said Winterveld had around 400 000 people who could cause an unprecedented change if they stopped voting because they were tired of living in mud houses and shacks.
Acting city manager Jordan Griffiths said they have visited Winterveld but needed to know which part of Winterveld was being referred to.
Griffiths said Winterveld was more of a rural farmland area which made some areas privately owned land, meaning that the people who lived there owned their land and the responsibility for the development of infrastructure in their houses was theirs.