By Ramotswedi Rammutla, 14 May 2021
Mahikeng: The community of ward 6 in Mahikeng Friday, May 14 barricaded roads leading in and out and adjacent to the communities. In Moshawane Village, they had since the early hours barricaded the R503 regional route leading to Mmabatho from the Ramatlabama Border post. They had used passing truck’s trailers to block the route including internal roads with rocks and trees. The protest extended to the Lokaleng, Tlapeng, Mogosane and Mabudutswane villages who had closed the Matlalong road next to the North West University Mahikeng Campus.
The two groups raised issues of poor service delivery. The community of Moshawane had raised issues pertaining to the demarcation of the community and their transfer to the nearby ward 28 which they feel was not properly done, as no consultation was done with the community. Secondly, the community through its leadership said that the councillor meddled in the issues of food parcels meant for the community, which led to them not benefiting in the feeding scheme. The same community had last month raised issues around their land being sold to the municipality for R1, and have since not gotten any response from the Premier whom they had sent a memorandum.
“Last month we were at the Premier’s office to speak to Premier Job Mokgoro to present our grievances; we presented them with our memorandum regarding the issue of the Ramatshaba land (along the R503) which we are fighting for and allowed them 21 days to respond. To date, they have not yet responded with a conclusive answer. We have requested a meeting with them, but since then, they have told us that they have other commitments. On behalf of SANCO, with regards to the land, we want to tell the community that we will continue to fight for the land until we win. The tribal authority has said that they have waited 27 years since their land claims and nothing has happened. We are still to fight on the issue of land because there seems to be some corruption in this regard” said Bernet Masike Chairperson of SANCO NW.
“The current protest was as a result of poor service delivery by the councillor who has not called any community meetings in the last 4 years; choosing to meet with only those he wants. This also is related to food parcels that were meant for the community. The tribal authority and the councillors are meddling in the political issues and are not assisting in addressing standing issues. They take decisions that are not favorable to the community. We don’t have the houses we were promised in 2016 because he favors others in the community, rather than serve the whole community” added Masike.
The community of Lokaleng; “on April 29 we submitted a letter of grievances to the Mahikeng Local Municipality and the response by the mayor was not satisfactory. We want her to explain what she meant in this response that was made on the same day, without sending anyone here to come assess or listen to what we are complaining about. We want to know if she is saying that we don’t know what we are talking about, while we are the one’s complaining” said Rapelang Setlhodi member of the Community Task Team.
“Today she has sent councillor Segoe after noticing that we have closed roads and the local Matlalong cemetery. We will continue with this protest until we get a report from the mayor that explains who she sent from which department to deal with our issues. She must send officials to address us. The councillor was here and did not have any responses, because he has not hosted any meetings in the last 6 years. We have been told what we are talking about in our memorandum is allegations, when we talk about incomplete projects in our communities of ward 6” added Setlhodi.
In response municipal communication manager Gaolatlhe Nkoane said: “In relation to food parcels I don’t know of any programme of that sort being done by the municipality. If this is an arrangement with a private individual donating to the community the municipality would not be involved. With regards to demarcation, the municipality has no involvement in that process, that is solely the responsibility of the Demarcation board.”
Nkoane also added that: “With regards to the roads, we are still in the process of appointing a suitable service provider who can provide the equipment to do all the roads. We are also waiting on the councilors to indicate which roads should be prioritized as soon as that is done and the supply chain process is complete we will draft a programme to attend to it. Regarding the high mass lights, we will have to check in the IDP so we share them across the different villages and prioritize where there is a great need. Water is provided by Ngaka Modiri Molema District municipality, we will engage them with regards to those challenges. Electricity is provided by Eskom they allocate the necessary units to us we will have to verify what we have and how that can be provided”.
The Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality could not be reached by time of going to print.