Overcrowded Ikemeleng “place of hope” by Steven Ramokhula (Ikemeleng)
Ikemeleng has been experiencing overcrowding since its vicinity and the mining operations taking place within the vicinity of Ikemeleng plays a major role in the increasing population within the community.
There have been several reports about this overcrowding problem faced by the community, and till today nothing has improved. Ikemeleng is one of the communities within the Rustenburg Local Municipality that is within the vicinity of mining companies. It is supposed to be the richest in terms of development and social labour plans (SLP’s) and Cooperate Social Investment (CSI) of the surrounding mines.
The population is still increasing daily due to job seekers and current AMCU strike has played a major role I increasing the population. Since the strike started in January, some members of AMCU have moved to Ikemeleng to live with their relatives while some came for cheaper accommodation because they don’t have much money to pay rent as they have been having income for a while now.
Violence and crime is hitting rocket high. It has been going on for a while and nothing is improving only worsening. People are encouraging others to engage on strikes to demand employment. This is causing division in the community since some people feel that they want to use them for their own financial benefits. After people get engage in strikes, the same employment opportunity they fought for is being sold to the highest beater. This exchange of employment for money has also played a crucial role the increase of population, because people pay for their relatives and relocate to Ikemeleng from their homelands.
Rustenburg Local Municipality has come up with the strategy to alleviate this problem within the community to have no more than five (5) tenants in a yard once the electricity project is complete and up and running. Aquarius mine has also started using a strategy of employing one person in a family whose only source of income is having tenants, by doing so there will be less people depending on renting out backrooms to have income. But they not are practised yet.
It is about time that these strategies that have been sung as if they are lyrics of a popular song for the past two years be put into practise. We urge all stakeholders to work together to finalize the strategies and place them in action.