Residents of a rural community in the North West marched to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkwebane’s office in Pretoria on Wednesday, saying she has failed to ensure accountability within her office in the province.
The disgruntled residents of Ga-Habedi Village said they had requested tar roads in 2009 but eight years later, they still have no access to public transport as taxis and buses pulled out from using the route.
Community representative Mogotsi Mosaka said their village was promised a 6.8km tar road in 2009, but lodged a complaint to then Thuli Madonsela’s office in 2012 when the project failed to take off.
“It was only in 2015 that the Public Protector’s office responded to us, only because we threatened to go to the media. Her office referred to the Alternative Dispute Resolution between her office and the North West Department of Public Works and Roads, that ruled that we would get our road in 2015/16. But that still has not happened,” he said yesterday.
He accused the Public Protector’s office of failing to ensure the North West branch adhered to the vision of trust, effectiveness and accountability, saying the lack of tar roads has left the community and school children to walk 6km to find transport.
“Instead, the North West government has decided to build tar roads in another village, despite an agreement that our area should take first priority on this project. We expect the Public Protector to suspend all tenders for new road construction so we can sit down and deal with this issue.”
Reading from their memorandum, Mosaka said the Public Protector’s North West office has failed to rectify improper conduct in state affairs and ensure service delivery.
The community called on Mkhwebane to remind Moretele Local Municipality mayor Andries Monageng of his duties, saying she should ensure he does not follow in the footsteps of former mayor Sello Lehare who allegedly only provided developments to his own village.
“We are very much afraid the same thing will happen again, especially after he (Monageng) instructed the Department of Public Works to tour his home village and surrounding villages and ignoring Ga-Habedi. The last time Ga-Habedi received proper service delivery was in the times of Kgosi Mangope of Bophuthatswana.”