We've had enough: Eldorado Park residents have their say on community's plight

Unemployment, drugs, crime, housing and poor service delivery are among the social issues facing poverty-stricken Eldorado Park.

Presenter Eusebius McKaiser hosted a panel discussion during a live broadcast in the community, where Eldorado Park residents voiced their concerns.

EUSEBIUS OPINION: Turning the spotlight on ravaged Eldos

Earlier in May, community members in the township south of Johannesburg embarked on service delivery protests which turned violent.

Drug-related issues

Cheryl Pillay, the chair for Local Drug Action Committee, says the accessibility and trade of drugs is one of the biggest issues in Eldos.

We have a lot drugs on our streets, drug-related crimes and 'lolly lounges', and underage children struggling with addiction.

Cheryl Pillay, the chair for Local Drug Action Committee

According to Pillay, police have not been able to stop the supply of drugs in the community, while many users are being arrested.

She explains that unemployment and lack of recreational facilities exacerbate the drug problem.

Housing

Jerome Pillay, a member of the Housing Steering Committee, says with the lack of housing the community is in crisis.

We estimate that 30 000 families in this community require housing.

Jerome Pillay, a member of the Housing Steering Committee

As many as 20 people share small flats in Eldorado Park, forced to sleep in shifts, while multiple squatter camps can be found in backyards.

Pillay says drug addiction, crime and other social ills are fueled by the conditions of poverty.

The root cause in this community is the poverty. To change the drug situation , government needs to change the economic face of Eldorado Park.

Jerome Pillay, a member of the Housing Steering Committee

Policing

MMC for Public Safety Michael Sun says Eldorado Park criminals are known to the locals.

Sun has urged community members to come forward to help eradicate crime in the community, as police resources are very limited.

A synergy between police, law enforcement agencies and the community could make Eldos a safer place.

Michael Sun, MMC for Public Safety

Residents and community activists gathered at the Don Mateman Hall on Wednesday morning to raise their concerns and queued to put their questions to politicians and official leadership.

Take a listen to the moving town-hall discussion in its entirety:


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