Bedford residents living in mud and without clean water

The Eastern Cape government continues to bring attention to the issue of poor service delivery as it has demonstrated time and time again that it is unable to look after its residents. Bedford residents in the Eastern Cape continue to live in poor conditions as a result of the government’s incompetence in providing basic needs and infrastructure.

Bedford is a rural town in the Eastern Cape that falls under Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality.

Municipalities play a crucial role in service delivery because they are directly in charge of ensuring a healthy living environment and improving the standard of living of their residents.

Municipalities are required to “organise and manage its administration, budgeting, and planning procedures to give priority to the basic needs of the community,” as stated in South African Constitution Act No. 108 of 1996.

However, despite multiple complaints from locals about weeks without access to water and lack of infrastructure, the Raymond Mahlaba municipality and the councilor have not addressed these issues.

Children playing with dirty water in Bedford

The lack of infrastructure makes it challenging to travel when it rains as the roads get flooded with water and become muddy and slippery. There is little to no drainage system to remove the excess water resulting in children playing with the contaminated water while cars take a swim and get water damaged.

Stagnant water and floodwaters can be dangerous and put the lives of the residents at risk of contracting infectious diseases and matter how well a person can swim, everyone can risk drowning in floodwater. Even shallow standing water can be dangerous for young children.

Stagnant and dirty water in Bedford

This is incredibly disappointing, the Raymond Mahlaba municipal and the ward councilor should address these issue with a great level of urgency.


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