Memorandum of grievances handed over to rapid response team, community awaits response.
PROTEST action in Valspan and Jan Kempdorp has been temporarily called off to allow for a response from local government regarding poor service delivery, within the next seven days.
A memorandum of grievances was handed over to a delegation that was deployed as part of the provincial rapid response team to address the community on Tuesday.
The community is demanding the implementation of an infrastructure management plan to oversee roads, stormwater and infrastructure.
“The residents of Valspan/Jan Kempdorp at large are concerned by the ongoing disregard for challenges facing our community resulting from a lack of any interventions from both the local municipality and provincial government. We are protesting because of our frustration with the persistent failure of the government to address appalling public services from Phokwane Municipality, decaying community infrastructure, rising poverty, unemployment and crime.”
The community wants potholes and defective street lights to be repaired, issues regarding sanitation and sewage spills to be fixed and water and electricity problems to be attended to.
They have also called for “safer communities” and want an investigation to be launched into the abandoned water project in the area of 604 stands.
The memorandum has also called for a review of the appointment of the Phokwane municipal manager and the entire council, where it was indicated that a legal complaint was laid.
“Council is neglecting its duties. We demand the immediate publication and audit of the asset registry of Phokwane Municipality dating back from 2014. There is alleged corruption and mismanagement of the municipal assets where municipal land disappeared from the asset registry without a trace.”
It was also pointed out by the community members that since the “turnaround strategy” was supposed to have been implemented there have been no visible improvements at the municipality.
“Questionable municipal governance is the main reason for the protest. Ever since the invocation of Section 139, the municipal governance has in fact worsened. We therefore demand that immediate remedial action be taken to ensure that municipal services are provided to communities.”
The Valspan Communal Interest group sent a letter to Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul on Monday expressing their frustration over the slow response to service delivery complaints.
They believe that the premier’s promise of an “honest, uncorrupted new dawn” was nothing more than a “political façade”, where regional ANC conferences were instead given priority above the needs of the community.
“Provincial government has disregarded our challenges and issues over the years. The Valspan community is sick and tired of ‘talkshops’ and verbal promises from representatives who only tell us lies. Our issues are not taken seriously.”
The spokesperson for the Office of the Premier, Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, confirmed receipt of the letter.
“The premier notes the concerns of the community and has therefore delegated a team of MECs to attend to the concerns raised by the community.”