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ANC takes precedence – mayor


Council should have used the money that was spent on the mayoral car to build roads, construct a clinic or install storm water drainage and electricity

FAILED TO MEET: Samuel Papier, a Jacksonville community leader, has indicated that residents are upset that the mayor failed to meet with them. Picture: Soraya Crowie

ANGRY protesters are threatening to burn the mayor’s R1 million Audi Q7 after he failed to arrive as promised to address Jacksonville residents yesterday afternoon.

Colville residents were also upset regarding the non-attendance of the mayor, who was also scheduled to meet with them yesterday.

Sol Plaatje executive mayor Mangaliso Matika explained that he had postponed the meeting until tomorrow.

“I had to go to Pampierstad yesterday due to the protest actions – in my capacity as the ANC regional chairperson. I used my own car to drive to Pampierstad. I will meet with the affected community in Jacksonville,” said Matika yesterday.

Residents were not appeased and have vowed to intensify their actions.

“We have decided to give the mayor until Wednesday (tomorrow), but if he does not come we will first burn the speaker’s car, because she stays in Roodepan. The mayor’s Q7 is second on the list.

“We have been peaceful all along and yet the police have treated us like common criminals. We will do the same as the protesters are doing in Pampierstad by burning down shops, schools, government property and vehicles, so that the mayor can come and speak to us too.”

They added that council should have used the money that was spent on the mayoral car to build roads, construct a clinic or install stormwater drainage and electricity.

“We are not convinced that it costs the municipality R60 000 every time that the old Mercedes-Benz had to go in for repairs.”

Residents also pointed out that Pampierstad had its own mayor.

“Why is Matika running away to attend to other people’s problems when his own municipality is under siege? He is the one who convened the meeting and we dropped everything to attend it.

“We agreed to suspend protest action with the intention of arriving at a solution, but he is undermining us and showing us that we are not a priority in his eyes. How long do they expect us to be patient?

“The mayor must come without the councillor tomorrow, we don’t want him here. We want to elect our own ward councillor in Jacksonville.”

The residents further stated that they had formed their own committee to eradicate illegal and “ghost” shacks in the area.

“The eviction notices must be withdrawn and not placed on hold,” they added.

ANC regional spokesperson Tshepo Louw indicted that, as the ANC Francis Baard regional chairperson, Matika, along with the ANC regional executive committee and provincial officials of the ANC, met with ANC branches and councillors to deal with issues of service delivery yesterday.