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Community engagements set to continue

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The United Community of Sol Plaatje Municipality said there was “hope” after the first three community demands were addressed

Representatives from the United Community of Sol Plaatje Municipality (UCSPM) have been engaging with Premier Zamani Saul’s delegation. Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE ENGAGEMENTS between representatives from the United Community of Sol Plaatje Municipality (UCSPM) and Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul’s delegation are set to continue on Thursday after the first three of the 26 community demands were addressed on Monday.

The premier, together with Sol Plaatje executive mayor Patrick Mabilo, gave the representatives “hope” by dealing with the first demand of responding to the community within the given 24 hours.

Monday’s first engagement meeting was scheduled on Friday, April 16. This followed the community meeting at the Premier’s Office on Thursday, April 15.

The second demand was for the water to be restored.

It was confirmed that 85% of residents were already accessing water from the city’s taps on Tuesday morning, while the rest of the community continued to be supplied by water tankers.

The third demand on the memorandum was the suspension of all increases for basic services such as water, electricity and refuse removal.

A UCSPM representative, David Kok, indicated that the community would not accept the tariff increase set for June/July by Sol Plaatje Municipality.

“Local government has agreed to deal with the technicalities in an effort of committing to this demand,” said Kok.

According to Kok, Thursday’s engagements will start by “addressing the two main points of the agenda”.

“Those points will be the R500 million allocated by the Treasury to address poor service delivery and the demand to be part of the Technical Task Team (TTT) which was set up by the premier, to be led by his adviser Norman Shushu.

“We want to ensure that proper channels are followed in utilising these funds. No unscrupulous company, or a company from outside, will be awarded the tender to provide us with poor services like before. We want to conquer unemployment among our community,” Kok said.

Shushu is expected to give the first TTT weekly report on Thursday.

The UCSPM has also called for the release of the Section 106 report on the investigation into irregularities at Sol Plaatje Municipality, which, they said, has been outstanding for too long.

“We were informed that the report is still being dealt with by the courts.”

A further call was made for municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie’s position to be reviewed as he was accused of failing to play his role in keeping residents up to date on crucial matters.

“He failed to provide clarity on the water situation until the march where we called for him to be fired. We had to learn about the situation through the media and from updates provided from the Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor of Ockert Fourie,” said Kok.

The community promised that all the engagements would be live-streamed – to avoid being accused of accepting bribes, as happened with previous agreements.

“All the agreements will be in black and white,” added Kok.

He reminded the powers that be that the community will not hesitate to go ahead with a “total blackout” on Monday, as they had initially planned, if their demands are not met.