|Schools have been built in Nquthu, but this doesn not mean|
the community has access to other resources and information.
the authorities don't listen to community leaders like it happened in the township's Chiawelo section when it turned violent earlier this year. Community members burnt down a section of a former councillor's house as she was blamed for high electricity tariffs.
During the recent September school and university holidays I visited the village of Nquthu in deep rural KwaZulu-Natal and much to my surprise the community here doesn't participate in meetings that can build them. I attended one meeting to discuss electricity tariffs and less than half the community was there.
I had assumed that many would be there as meetings are their only way of communicating with one another. Many are illiterate and those who can read and write have a lack of community newspapers and forced to read provincial papers, often coming from Durban or Pietermaritzburg.
While one would think water is a human right that everyone should have access to by now, it was one major point of concern that Nquthu residents have. The availability of water, or the lack there of, was another major issue during the meeting.
After the meeting I spoke to a few young people and they feel the youth is still overlooked in this traditional, patriarchal society. They say they often struggle to get their points across as young
On close inspection it appeared that the lack of resources is probably the cause of such poor attendance as councillors don't have resources to pass information about these meetings to those they represent. Community members also say they they don't know what's expected of them as this information isn't shared. What ends up happening is that councillors end up making decision as consultative processes are
difficult in this rural setting.