First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

An Eastern Cape municipality promised its residents hou...

South Africa


Promises, promises: Butterworth residents still waiting for housing after more than a decade

A municipal water truck supplys Butterworth residents with water. The Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements says Zizamele informal settlement may get houses within two years, providing residents accept pit latrines and water tanks as alternatives to plumbing. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

If residents accept a proposal by the province they will get houses with pit latrines and water tanks within two years.

First published by GroundUp.

Zizamele informal settlement residents in Butterworth were promised RDP houses by 2009 by the Mnquma Local Municipality. A dozen years later, the houses have not been delivered.

Yanga Funani, spokesperson for the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements, says Zizamele could get the houses within the next two years, but only if they accept that their new homes will have pit latrines and water tanks.

This is because the homes would be built according to rural specifications, even though Zizamele is in a township.

Funani said 1,241 houses are budgeted for 2022/2023. He said if residents accept the terms, the department is ready.

Formed in 1992, Zizamele has 630 households. It has only three communal standpipe taps. There are communal pit toilets. There is no electricity.

But community leader Vuyokazi Fatman said residents have not been officially informed of the human settlements’ plan to build according to rural standards. She said she believes the community would accept homes with pit latrines.

She said that last year residents were so fed up with waiting they demanded ownership of the land so that they could go ahead and build their own homes.

Community leader Collygen Daniso said they have been bounced for the past 11 years between the provincial Department of Human Settlements, the Mnquma Local Municipality and the Amatole District Municipality.

“This informal settlement is very old. People are tired of living in shacks. We are tired of having to buy paraffin every day. The local municipality is cutting all illegal electricity connections,” said Daniso.

Mnquma Municipal spokesperson Loyiso Mpalantshane said its role is to provide land. It will assist with providing community facilities and registering beneficiaries.

Bulk infrastructure for the houses would be supplied by the district municipality.

But Amatole District Municipality (ADM) spokesperson Nonceba Madikizela-Vuso said its involvement can only start after the local municipality submits a plan to formalise an area, stating how many houses it intends to build.

“ADM has no record of these submissions for Zizamele informal settlement,” she said.

Mnquma Municipality, therefore, appears to be the stumbling block to advancing the housing plan. When told that ADM said it had received no plans and that the Eastern Cape Human Settlements is ready and waiting for an answer, the Mnquma Municipality was unable to clarify why this is the case. DM

Send us your pothole pictures.

Thank-you! Daily Maverick has all the councillor ratings you submitted to us and will present them to you this week. From the first set of questions to our readers, you said that road conditions have deteriorated substantially or that roads are, in fact, non-existent. Now we want to see for ourselves what your road conditions are like.

Could you send us images of the road conditions and of potholes so we can show and tell the authorities where the problems are? Send to: [email protected]


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 2

  • As a recent qualified knowitall I had to spend two nights in Butterworth to do some research.
    The main road(?) was bombed (or potholed?), pavements and Kerbs had disintegrated, every 15th streetlight worked, rubbish everywhere. I felt eyes on my back stepping out.
    It reminded me of Mozambique c1990, during the war there and a youthful disregard for danger.
    The hotel required I be back at 6pm when the roller shutters came down hard and the 5 guests were prisoners for the night.
    This was is 1995.
    Never been back. Wonder if the town got any better…
    It was, and remains the scariest 48 hours in my life.
    (Mozambican diving, and the prawns! gets extra points).

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted