Heidedal residents took to the streets on Friday in an effort to highlight the plight of drug abuse in their community. Led by the National Unemployment Voters’ Organisation (Nuvo), the residents marched to the Heidedal police station to hand over a memorandum of their grievances.
Nuvo president, Mzwandile Phupho, said: “Police in Heidedal, Bloemfontein, are not doing their best to curb the issue of drugs in the community of Heidedal.” Unfortunately, no one was there to represent the Heidedal police station, so they could not hand over their memorandum.
The march then proceeded to the Heidedal Municipalilty’s offices. No response was received here as well.
Addressing the crowd, Phupho said: “They are situated in the centre of the area affected by drugs but they are doing nothing. We have kids at school in Heidedal who are affected by these drugs and nothing is being done.”
Rivonia van Langeberg, a local resident who stays in Ward 16 just across the municipal offices, says there are many issues affecting the community which are often overlooked. “My place is just across the municipality. The issues we have here are that people are using drugs. When we have leaking pipes, no one comes to fix that as well. We will have to complain for up to three or four months before they fix it.”
Residents say they want more to be done to help eradicate their community of drugs as it has had a negative impact on their community.
Heidedal residents and Nuvo have given the municipality 14 days to respond to their demands, which include better policing to ensure a safer community. If they fail to meet their demands, they intend to then plan a bigger march to the municipal offices at the Bram Fischer Building. – Seithati Semenokane