Home News ‘Blame Sol, not ward councillors’

‘Blame Sol, not ward councillors’

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“Although we are not employees in waterworks or sanitation, ward councillors are made to solely carry the blame for leaking pipes and sewage problems.”

DOWN THE DRAIN: According to Ward 12 councillor Lesedi Mocwagole, drinking water has been leaking from a burst pipe in Radebe Street, Galeshewe since December already. Picture: Danie van der Lith

“THE CYCLE where some ward councillors are blamed by community members when the Sol Plaatje municipality fails to deliver basic services needs to end.”

This was the frustration conveyed by Ward 12 councillor Lesedi Mocwagole.

Mocwagole said that community members tend to accuse ward councillors of not doing their job when the municipality fails to address and solve the problems that they have reported.

“We have a water pipe that burst in Radebe Street in December. Gallons of clean drinking water are now streaming down the street. Some of the residents in that street are not able to get in and out of their homes as their yards are flooded. The street is also muddy. I have reported this matter to the municipality numerous times. I have even requested the residents in the street to report the matter. I asked the employees at waterworks to attend to the matter, however, almost two months later the problem still persists and was never addressed,” said Mocwagole.

“This pipe burst has resulted in some community members blaming and accusing me of not taking the matter up with the right sources. It has become the norm that the ward councillors are the first to get blamed when the municipality does not resolve a problem in the community.

“Although we are not employees in waterworks or sanitation, ward councillors are made to solely carry the blame for leaking pipes and sewage problems.”

Mocwagole said he has followed all protocols in reporting problems and seeking assistance for the community.

“As councillors, we have a WhatsApp group where we report challenges experienced by community members in our respective areas. We even post pictures of the challenges that are reported. I have also noted the problems in my monthly report. It gets really frustrating when one repeatedly has to report a matter over and over again but nothing is done.

“We are also part of the community and experience these same problems. These problems affect us directly too. Some people, however, seem to forget that we are also affected and are quick to point the finger at us as the ones who are not doing our jobs. We are labelled as lazy and that we just want to receive a salary without caring for the people.”

Mocwagole said that it is evident that the cries of the community are falling on deaf ears.

“We have so many challenges in the community which are not addressed by the municipality. We have a family in Motlapele Street who have to live in stench as the sewage is overflowing in their yard. The manhole is blocked and those people are living in unhygienic conditions. I went to assess the situation and was shocked when I saw the conditions. I immediately reported the matter but nothing has been done since.

“We also feel the frustration of the community as nobody should have to live in such conditions. Service delivery is a matter that can be fixed but if the will is not there, then there is a problem.”

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie acknowledged that the local authority has challenges with some instances of service delivery, but added that some of these challenges are caused by community members.

“When we unblock the sewerage lines we often find objects, like hair, suitcases and even blankets, that are not meant to be in the line. Some of these challenges are recurring and we ask the community to also take responsibility for these services. We unblock the drains, we do not block them. We always welcome it when such matters are brought to our attention,” said Matsie.