The AfriForum branch in Vryburg, which includes Stella, is extremely concerned about the precarious circumstances in which the Naledi Local Municipality currently finds itself despite the fact that it was placed under business rescue.
After the branch launched an activist action during which the community took their rubbish to the Municipality as an act of protest against poor service delivery, the branch held a meeting with Paul Maseko, the newly appointed Administrator, to present complaints to him.
Maseko openly welcomed the AfriForum delegates and already listed the complaints AfriForum wanted to present to him. He is thoroughly aware of the following problems in the Municipality: Streets that are impassable due to potholes, blockages and leakages that are causing raw sewage to flow in the streets, as well as pipes that are bursting as a result of poor or no maintenance despite the big water crisis that is leaving many residents without water.
The filling up of potholes has started and the local AfriForum branch will also fill up potholes in cooperation with the Municipality. Three contractors were also appointed to counter the big sewage problem.
Rubbish is not being removed regularly, subsequently causing Vryburg and Stella to be littered with waste, while the landfill site is also not being maintained any longer, resulting in rubbish not being able to be dumped properly.
Electricity supply is a big source of concern and even though many residents are making use of prepaid electricity, Eskom was frequently not paid in the past. Electricity available to residents are now being restricted and will be cut off if a certain limit is exceeded, resulting in residents suffering damage. Maseko has in the meantime reached an agreement with Eskom that will hopefully keep the lights on.
AfriForum asked Maseko to communicate with residents so that they are aware of what is going on in town and can plan accordingly. He agreed to it and requested the Head of Communication to keep residents informed. AfriForum will however continuously monitor the process.
“One could complain for days on end about everything that is wrong with the Municipality. The crux of the matter is that politics in municipalities doesn’t work. Political appointments are made and then the people aren’t competent to do the work. If the provincial or even national authority doesn’t intervene and actively do something, many towns will simply perish. We are optimistic to have someone here that acknowledges the problems. AfriForum will do its best to cooperate. We are making a plea to the community to come lend a hand when AfriForum is busy with its actions,” says Alta Pretorius, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for Stellaland.