In a bid to lend an ear to members of her community, the Executive Mayor of the Local Municipality of Madibeng, Jostina Mantinah Mothibe, held a mayoral Imbizo on the 22nd of October 2016, at Sangiro, ward 29.
Ward 29 comprises of areas such as Sangiro, Schumburg as well as Skeerpoort, had community members who came about to talk face to face with the mayor regarding issues that they are faced with on a daily basis. According to Mothibe, she wanted to give both the young and the old an opportunity to raise their concerns in order to give the municipality an indication as to how to address societal issues. Some of the issues that dominated the agenda of all community members were the issue of land redistribution and the lack of response by the local police station. “We hope to discuss all the problems arising in ward 29 and to find a way as government to bring service delivery to the people. The government urges the community in ward 29 to work together in unity to achieve many basic services,” said Mothibe.
Mothibe also encouraged municipal officials to actively participate in ensuring that the community are well informed about the plans by the municipality. “We also recognise that the ward belongs to the DA but that does not mean that as government we wont deliver services,” she said. She, however, noted that the municipality was aware of other societal challenges such as employment and business opportunities. “We also urge communities to register cooperative and open businesses to sustain themselves,” emphasised the mayor. Before the start of the session, sister Lebese had the opportunity to light the candle in remembering those infected and affected with HIV/AIDS. Officials from different government spheres including the Department of Home Affairs as well as the MMCs and councillors of different wards accompanied the mayor to Sangira, where they assessed living conditions with an intention to later deploy relevant aid where necessary. “We have noted with interest how our people have more interest in staying in ward 29 because of the fact that they work here and their children attend schools here. As government we commit ourselves in supporting the decision taken by the community and therefore to unite and form partners with the government through committee structures that will overlook the services and we will also continue to give the best services to our communities,” said Mothibe.
A committee member from the area, Sebase Chiqanda, said that he was happy that the mayor came to address the issues they are faced with in ward 29. “We have problems with our local police who does not attend to problems on time.” “We also have a problem with our clinic which opens Monday to Friday without medications and staff members abusing patients. In the instance of being relocated to Bokfontein, we want to set the record straight, whoever want to evict us must throw us in to the dam because we are not going to Bokfontein,” said Chiqanda. Moses Rafedile added that the land in question is under land claim and that there are investors from other countries who are using the government and the sheriffs to buy the land for themselves from Mekgareng as they are the sole owners of the land.
Ngwako Rakopa said they are not going anywhere, the government must just renew Sekwakwa. Francinah Nakedi added that Skeerpoort is surrounded by white people who constantly abuses their powers and want to evict them. Ephenia Beepe from Cosmos that the evictions are pushed by white people who does not want to live near black people. Chris Masuku, a committee member from Cosmos also added that they have a document of 1994 which indicates that KRRA is responsible and busy evicting them. Klaas Mathekga from Skeerpoort said that they are living in heartbreaking conditions, they do not have access to proper roads, they do not have land, no electricity. Mr. T. Molambu from Cosmos Orange Farm noted the fact that the area has court orders ranging from the year 1999. “Ever since, our municipality have not responded to those court orders. In 2014, we received another court order from KRRA and they are not owners of Orange Farm, the ward belongs to the DA, so how are you going to win ward 29 if you take us to ward 25,” said Mathekga. KRRA is an association which was invited in a meeting held in 2008 when a person by the name of Deon wanted to buy the land. The mayor in her response said that the municipality heard the community loud and clear. “We understand that you are not going to Bokfontein, so we must establish a committee that will liaise with the MMC for Planning and Human Settlement, Judy Sefudi to reduce land issues. Our committee will have to brief our communities from time to time,” said the Executive Mayor.