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Residents to take service delivery into own hands

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“For now, we are concentrating on addressing the water issue. Once we succeed, we will move on to other matters including potholes, leaking sewage and littering.”

Water leaking down a city street. Picture: Danie van der Lith

CITY residents are in the process of establishing a ratepayers’ association in response to a growing list of service delivery complaints and dissatisfaction over Sol Plaatje Municipality’s ability to address these issues.

The Kimberley Water Disaster community group was established in response to the city’s latest water crisis, where a number of residents were left without water for several days on end.

The group’s co-ordinator, Tumelo Mosikare, said yesterday that the community organisation would partner with the ratepayers’ association to respond to service delivery issues in the Sol Plaatje municipal district, including Kimberley, Ritchie and Riverton.

“We have received an overwhelming response from ratepayers for the community to take matters into our own hands and repair the city. We already have 1 260 members – including businesspeople and residents – and it is growing by the day. We have set up WhatsApp groups in each area to improve communication and some have already organised cleaning operations in their neighbourhoods. For now, we are concentrating on addressing the water issue. Once we succeed, we will move on to other matters including potholes, leaking sewage and littering,” said Mosikare.

He pointed out, however, that the municipality still had an obligation to do its work, even if volunteers were assisting in restoring the city.

“Retired engineers and residents with a technical background have agreed to team up and volunteer their services. While the water has been restored, it will only be a matter of time before we hit another snag.”

Mosikare added that they were in the process of developing a cellphone app to report service delivery complaints.

“We are also looking at drawing up a petition and registering a voluntary association, as it needs to be handed in by an organisation with legal standing if we wish to use it as evidence in a court of law.”