“This the most irresponsible action by our leaders as it seems anyone can come here and set up to operate on our municipal land”
NO ONE could guarantee any kind of safety and regulations in regards to the funfair that has been under way at the Galeshewe circle since the weekend.
The funfair swings, which are not even fenced off, started to be set up last week already without the organisers, who are not known to the community, being granted permission to operate by the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
On Friday there was already much hype amongst city residents, who were excited that the funfair was being brought to the people, while the organiser of the event, known as Thabang, disappeared into thin air after dumping the funfair attractions on the municipal land.
The DFA also tried to contact him but his phone went to voicemail.
Very few parents knew that they were sending their children there at their own risk, while the community organisation Operation Wanya Tsotsi (OWT) also struggled to get answers from different stakeholders as to who the organisers are.
The swings were set up at the Nelson Mandela Precinct, opposite the Pick * Pay shopping centre, which is also regarded as the busiest intersection in Kimberley.
“This the most irresponsible action by our leaders as it seems anyone can come here and set up to operate on our municipal land,” said OWT spokesperson Tebogo Obusitse.
“People cannot just come from Joburg and operate on our land without permission; and our leaders smile about it. Next thing, when we make them pack up and go, then we are accused of being anti-revolutionary.
“There was never any visibility by the police and children were excited and running into the traffic.
“We used to hold meetings here and the police would patrol the place; where are they now when their citizens need them.”
No flyers, adverts, or any kind of pre-marketing was done for the event.
The event only started running on Saturday, without a written permit, instead of on Friday.
The event organisers were allegedly granted verbal permission by a Sol Plaatje Municipality official to operate the funfair on Saturday and Sunday, until they start engaging today.
Concerns about the children’s safety came to mind when one of the patrons, Onkokame Sewedi, learnt that the event seemed to be unlawfully set up.
“But this cannot keep our children’s excitement under control because they saw the swings already. I hope this thing gets sorted out because parents will not be able to prevent their children from trying to come here,” added Sewedi.
“My biggest concern is what if someone gets injured or a child gets hit by a car as this is a busy intersection?”
One of the event holders, who on Saturday said that they would be willing to talk to the DFA, hung up the phone when they were contacted yesterday.
In response to media enquiries regarding the municipal by-laws on events, the spokesperson for the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Sello Matsie, brushed this off, saying that the Galeshewe circle was a normal roundabout.
According to Matsie, the municipality is not a vindictive institution and the assertion that the area is busy has no basis because events have previously been held there.
“Should there be any issues of compliance we will engage further with the affected parties and rather seek to normalise the situation.”
“The municipality is not the sole authority that regulates events and as such we can only deal with aspects that fall within our limits,” said Matsie.