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Ramotshere Moiloa residents question sudden consultative meeting with municipality ahead of elections

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A meeting including various wards falling under the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality was held on Monday, 18 March 2019, with over one hundred residents in attendence.

This is where residents accused the municipality of ignoring them when there are no elections.

The cash-strapped Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality presented its 2017/18 financial report to its residents, where more than one hundred people gathered before the King Moiloa palace/Kgotla to take part in the meeting. The meeting was held in Mokgola village, Zeerust, and was attended by a number of villagers.

There were many yellow African National Congress (ANC) t-shirts depicting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s face in the crowd. There were also others wearing The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and Community Work Programme (CWP) uniforms inside the tent to listen to the municipality leadership. Pensioners and young people attended in their numbers to raise their daily issues, which ranged from electricity, housing, unemployment, crime, etc.

The newly appointed municipal manager, Winston Ditshabe Makhate, was also introduced to the residents, as he was appointed in early February 2019. It was Makhate who was presenting financial report to the residents, a presentation which took less than five minutes in a vernacular language.

Makhate assumed the role after the illegal appointment of Thompson Phakalane, who was unqualified to perform duties and was earning more than R80 000 per month despite his lack of qualifications. The municipal leadership does not show remorse for hiring someone who directly placed the municipality under administration of provincial government.

The municipality Speaker, Councillor Alfred Nyamane, claimed that the media writes things which seek to sell because they are simply in the business of making money. “Even if we can hire a qualifying municipal manager, media will always get something to write about,” said Nyamane.

The residents are complaining about the state of their communities. They have been promised Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses, with others blaming nepotism and corruption at the municipal level, which renders ward councillors useless because there is no capital.

Elizabeth Dintwe, a pensioner in her late 60s, said that their children have matric certificates but are never considered for learnerships, apprenticeships or internships coming from government, which are given to those who are politically-connected. She further says that the same officials came in the 2016 local government elections to “consult” and they are here to “consult” again because it is election season.

Kenneth Mokgatlhe
[email protected]

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