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Zeerust community decries ‘lack of consultation’ by the local municipality

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The community of Zeerust has written to the municipality, proposing a meeting scheduled for today, Thursday, 4 April 2019, at 17:30 at the Zeerust Town Hall.

The community is calling for this meeting because they heard that the cash-strapped Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality is at the final stages towards finalising the review of the current valuation roll, without having consulted the property owners. The angry community further claims that the municipality never put out a notice, as should be the case according to the Municipal Property Rates Act 77 of 2014.

The community’s main concern is that they were not given the opportunity to participate, as should be the case according to the Municipal Systems Act. The valuation roll notice has been put up on the website and is dated 2 February 2019 and signed by the administrator, Paul Maseko.

The community is also requesting an update on the question of Eskom. The municipality owes Eskom more than R28 871 188. The municipality is cash-strapped, while Eskom warns that they will switch off the lights by the 25th of April 2019 if not paid. Residents are frustrated as they may face a colder and darker winter.

The community expects personnel from the municipality, the service provider appointed for the valuation roll and representatives from the department of local  government and human settlement, who work with municipalities around issues of valuation roll.

Political Analysis South Africa (PASA) spoke to a resident who spoke on condition of anonymity, he said they were not happy because their community is not clean, streets lights are not functioning and potholes are everywhere in the town of Zeerust.

PASA visited the municipality on 7 March 2019 and found workers aimlessly wandering around, as the truck used for garbage collection was still being fixed. Those responsible for fixing the roads also had nothing to do because there are no materials such as paint for marking road signs for motorists and pedestrians, a situation which has persisted for some time.

The provincial government placed this municipality and the five others under its administration from the beginning of September 2018. However, the situation seems to be worsening even under external administration.

Kenneth Mokgatlhe
[email protected]

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