In the years that have followed democracy the community of Yeoville has become rather abandoned with the abandonment of several buildings which are often hijacked or overcrowded.
The area has been subject to crime, service cut-offs, overcrowded schools, issues of housing as well as access to basic services.
Discussing these issues with residents in a townhall with the Afternoon Drive team on Wednesday was a panel of African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leaders in Gauteng.
The panel also included Yeoville Bellvue Ratepayers Association chairperson Rev Tsepo Matubatuba and Yeoville Community Police Forum chairperson Joseph Dube.
Speaking on some of the most important issues facing his community, Matubatuba says the area was one of the best suburbs in 1996 and has since been 'rejected'.
Neglected is an understatement, it is an exploited community and rejected. There is no actual service delivery happening here. Maybe in a few years, it will be worse than Alexandra. If we talk about land use planning, it is completely nonexistent. If you go around, you have got to close your mouth or nose to go past certain places.— Rev Tsepo Matubatuba, Community member and chairperson - Yeoville Bellvue Ratepayers Association
Crime has escalated. The last bank is going to be closed this month. We have no post office; I don't know how many liquor stores there are and taverns are wrecking the lives of people. Illegal churches. Those are the conditions we live in.— Rev Tsepo Matubatuba, community member and chairperson - Yeoville Bellvue Ratepayers Association
He is not sure if residents should continue paying their rates and services.
Describing the very same conditions as Matubatuba, one resident says not everyone has survived the area.
Here you survive because you have somebody on top.— Yeoville resident
The policing forum's Dube says there is no visible policing in the area. He explains that the closure of banks was result of victimisation by criminals.
Banks had to close because their own staff are in danger but even customers have been robbed of their money after withdrawing cash.— Joseph Dube, Chairperson - Community police forum
The DA has faced a number of alegations from residents including the alleged removal of the JMPD from the area.
The party's member of the provincial legislature in Gauteng, Makashule Gana, says he is not aware of this.
I am not aware. I am a regular here in Yeoville and some of the issues that are being raised are familiar to me. The times that I do come here, I do see the JMPD. I will take it up with the MMC of safety to check if the allegation is true.— Makashule Gana, Member of the provincial legislature - Gauteng DA
ANC Joburg's regional executive committee member, Sasabona Manganyi, insists that policing is a collective effort from bot the SAPS, JMPD and the community. He has accused the DA and EFF administration of removing a JMPD programme aimed at ensuring safety in the area.
The matter which the leader of the CPF is raising is correct to say that the DA and EFF's administration have taken away the JMPD programme that the ANC had introduced. In every ward we had dedicated JMPD vehicles and police who had contact with CPFs and community members.— Sasabona Manganyi, Regional executive committee member - ANC Joburg
The ANC government before the DA took over, we even built a police station to show that we take the people of Yeoville very seriously. The issue of those men in blue who are possibly collaborating with criminals, those are issues that the ANC government is willing to deal with.— Sasabona Manganyi, Regional executive committee member - ANC Joburg
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