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City residents threaten to stop work starting on water and sanitation project

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Lethabo Park residents have threatened to stop the contractor from starting work on the project if the community’s concerns are not addressed first

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LETHABO Park residents have raised their dissatisfaction regarding the processes followed in the appointment of a contractor to start work on the water and sanitation project in their settlement.

They complained that there were no community engagements.

Residents threatened to stop the project, which is set to start soon, from commencing unless community engagements are arranged by local government.

They also accused the ward 29 councillor of never holding meetings or attending to ward complaints, while being allowed to be the “front runner” on all local projects.

The same contractor that was appointed to work in Ivory Park is expected to continue with the project in Lethabo Park.

The announcement was made by the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) following a community service delivery protest on March 23.

The community accused Coghsta and Sol Plaatje Municipality of “downplaying” the reasons for the stalling of the first phase of the project in Ivory Park.

Sol Plaatje Municipality had indicated that progress on the project was stalled due to disputes between the contractor and subcontractor.

The community blamed the disputes on “poor leadership” and lack of community involvement.

A community representative, David Kok, claimed that “family members and comrades” were hired on the Ivory Park project.

During a community meeting on Sunday, residents threatened to stop the service provider from proceeding to Lethabo Park if the community’s concerns were not addressed first.

“We were not consulted and there is no steering committee elected by the community. We cannot allow corruption and fraud to cloud a project that is supposed to improve our lives. We want the correct processes to be followed and to be personally involved,” said Kok.

“Our councillor is never present during community meetings and always sends apologies. We only find him at the municipality when we go to address our problems there. The next thing he is the front runner on each and every project in ward 25, wherein his family benefits.

“He is in charge of the hiring and firing of the workers and the steering committees.

“He is too arrogant to listen to the community and says he does not want to be policed,” claimed Kok.