News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
24 Jan 2020
9:26 pm

‘When and how’ will our promised tar road be built, Zebediela residents ask

News24 Wire

'All we want to hear from the MEC is when is she going to tar the road. That's all we want to hear, and everything will settle down.'

Picture for illustration. Residents of Zebediela protest over the building of a promised tar road, 2018. Picture: Sekhukhune Times

Residents of Ward 5 in Zebediela, Limpopo, want to know “when and how” the tar road they have been demanding will be built.

On Friday, they met to discuss a way forward.

In March last year, residents shut down nine schools, several preschools, crèches and businesses to protest over the issue.

The call for the tarred road dates back to 2017 when residents approached the local municipality with their demand. They say promises were made, but have not been fulfilled.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said, although a group had gathered on Friday, there had been no public violence and disruptions.

Jonas Makhafola, one of the leaders behind last year’s protests, said that, following a shutdown last year, the Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure, through the South African Human Rights Commission, had promised that the road would be tarred.

Makhafola said they were still waiting for the work on the road to get under way, and had received no updates from either the premier’s office or the public works department.

Makhafola said the department had arranged a meeting with residents at the tribal office in Moletlane village to brief them on the progress.

“We went there to monitor what she was going to say, but we found that the feedback she was giving, was supposed to be given to Ward 5, but she took it to Moletlane,” Makhafola said.

He said MEC Onnica Mochadi had told them she was still looking for funds to build the road.

But the community says it is not happy that there is was no commitment on the starting date.

“The agreement we had last year was that they were going to tar the road and they had the money. They said they would give a plan of how and when they were going to build the road. We are still [waiting] for the plan which would include ‘how and when’.”

“All we want to hear from the MEC is when is she going to tar the road. That’s all we want to hear, and everything will settle down,” she said.

Department spokesperson Mamoshashe Mabotha told News24 that the department was aware of the community’s demand, but it was dealing with other matters.

“We are aware of their demand and we are aware of the processes which the community of Ward 5 and department have issues to clarify and report to each other. There is also the third party, which is the South African Human Rights Commission,” he said.

He added that the department was embarking on programmes to solicit funds.

“The MEC and premier go all out to mobilise funding.”

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