POLITICS

Soweto Residents Wait 22 Years For Housing. Mantashe's Response: 'Patience is a virtue.'

When a woman told the ANC secretary-general people were fed up with shacks, he told her 22 years in power wasn't long enough to sort everything out.

06/01/2017 15:00 SAST | Updated 06/01/2017 15:16 SAST
Mujahid Safodien / AFP / Getty Images
Patience is a virtue. So is sensitivity.

ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe has told residents of Tshepisong informal settlement in Soweto, who have been asking for houses for years, that "patience is a virtue".

Mantashe had been going door to door, in an attempt to get people to attend the party's 105th birthday celebrations at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday.

Resident Olga Khenyane took the opportunity to ask Mantashe when they were going to get houses. She has been living in the informal settlement for 20 years. She claims they had been promised houses.

"Si diniwe nge mekhukhu. (We are fed up with shacks)," she told Mantashe.

But Mantashe told her development was coming and that they should be patient, because 22 years in power wasn't long enough to sort everything out.

"Twenty years is too short. ANC is 100 years and has only been in government for 22 years. We spent 83 years fighting for people's liberation... patience is a virtue," Mantashe said.

He said development happened in stages, and told residents not to complain about shacks that they had "forcefully'' built themselves.

'Fed up'

When News 24 asked Khenyane if she would attend the party's birthday bash, she responded: "If I go to Orlando, is there anything better I will return with?" She also hit back at Mantashe's calls for patience.

"He said we must be patient. He said 22 years is short. Maybe for him, but for me, staying in a shack, with a stinking toilet that don't flush, I'm fed up," Khenyane said.

Despite this though, she said she was not fed up with the ANC. She said the ANC was the party of her grandparents.

Local ANC branch chairperson Elson Ndlovu admitted that many party supporters were frustrated, but he said he hoped the municipality would recognise the informal settlement as a township, so that they could start building houses.

"We had to force for electricity to be connected because people were illegally connected, even though this area is not recognised as a township. As soon as that is done, we are hoping development will happen," Ndlovu said. -- News24