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Funfair packs up and leaves

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“The company indicated they were already packing up but would follow the correct procedures in the future, which we welcomed”

THE EXCITEMENT of Kimberley residents was cut short yesterday when the funfair that set up over the weekend at the Galeshewe circle, packed up and left the city.

This follows the company’s apparent failure to adhere to Sol Plaatje Municipality by-laws that require that an operating permit be obtained before setting up its rides and swings on municipal land.

Questions were raised at the weekend about how an unknown company even managed to finish setting up the swings in an open public space without the authorities noticing and intervening.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said yesterday that upon engagement, the company indicated that it had already packed up and was ready to leave.

“Our by-laws enforcement officer, Kagisho Jabetla, engaged with the company to explain our procedures and issues of safety concerns. The company indicated they were already packing up but would follow the correct procedures in the future, which we welcomed,” said Matsie.

Eyebrows only started being raised after the media enquired about safety concerns detected at the operating area on Saturday.

The municipality appeared to be unconcerned initially and indicated that engagements would follow (two days after the operation was set up) to “normalise the situation”.

Following media enquiries, the owners of the event, who did not want to reveal much, responded that they had hired a service provider from Johannesburg who dumped the merry-go-round on the premises and then vanished.

Many residents, however, were not convinced and pointed out that a company would not be so confident to set up in an unknown town without some influence from someone high up.

“It is impossible,” said Tebogo Obusitse from Operation Wanya Tsotsi.

According to Obusitse, Operation Wanya Tsotsi (OWT) was also surprised that it, as a community crime-fighting organisation, had not been asked to partner in patrolling the area, as was normal procedure, he said.

“Those in charge of ensuring the municipal by-laws are adhered to, must be held accountable for not doing their job,” said Obusitse. “We call on the mayor to hold people accountable for this mess. There are definitely some people out there not doing their jobs.”

Obusitse stated that this is the reason why the Sol Plaatje Municipality will never be respected as everyone believes that they can do as they please.

“We appreciate the questions asked by the media because without this involvement those strangers would still be making money unlawfully in broad daylight, putting our children’s lives at risk.”

A community member, who was interested in setting up a food stall at the site, said he regretted the misunderstanding as it would have boosted small businesses.

The vendor, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he was hopeful that he would have been able to generate a decent income for the next two weeks.

“It was a good initiative that brought a lot of excitement to the city but its a pity that they didn’t follow the necessary procedures and will hopefully do it properly next time,” he said.