An opinion piece
By Jonk wa Mashamba
A few years ago, as a senior journalist for our sister publication (Greater Alex Today), most of my stories were based on human interest!
I wrote about the untold stories of individuals who were bringing inspiration to others.
However, I liked writing about the dejected residents. This means that I focused on the devastation, the difficult situations and the disastrous situations experienced by people.
Among them were stories of Setjwetla residents living in appalling circumstances.
I worked lovingly on the stories, and interviewed those whose circumstances warranted immediate action.
When I documented the conditions of certain impoverished families who lived horribly on the banks of the Juiskei River, the authorities had only one choice… the intervention!
In 2014, Gift of the Givers constructed over 70 units which benefited some, as a result of the stories I wrote.
Among them was the unemployed woman Lestina Mashakeni,, ho stayed in a dilapidated shack with her children (photo left).
I went on writing stories about the darkness and the congested Setjwetla. This led to the resettlement of numerous residents and the electrification of the area. It’s one of the things I’m very proud mentioning.
I appeal to those who have been elected to always remember their mandate, so that they do not wait for the media before they act.
If a journalist can work on the hardships of the inhabitants of the whole Alexandra, for example, it means a job of a councillor is much simpler.
This means that we won’t have bad councillors who are lazy to go for a walk and interact with the residents.
During President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign in Alexandra, he advised the councillors to stay away from the office, but must interact with the people.
A reporter, particularly those who work for a local publication, has enormous responsibilities with fewer resources.
We help councillors, MMCs, Mayors, MECs, ministers and state presidents with valuable information.
And we ask that their must do their jobs without being forced.
South Africa has many political parties and some of them seem to be here to make a profit.
Residents are only interested in one thing: services! Not volumes of manifestos!
We are appealing to the leadership with the authorities to do their jobs. Your people voted for you confidently, and please don’t misuse that opportunity given to you.
It is unfortunate that some councillors are massively scrutinized because of their involvement in scandals. Voters hate to be governed by such leaders!
The people have voted, now it’s your time to deliver those promises!
This author is a journalist, founder, Publisher of Alex Reporter and CEO of Mashamba Media (Pty) Ltd.