Ficksburg’s new citizen mayor

2013-05-26 14:00

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City Press’ unofficial Setsoto mayor, Joseph Mokoaledi, watched as his neighbours protested against poor service delivery in April 2011.

“I was there when Andries Tatane was killed. I was covering the protest for our radio station,” says the news editor of local station Setsoto FM.

The 27-year-old has volunteered to be the area’s new unofficial mayor, and will be keeping an eye on it.

Although he sees some progress, service delivery remains a major issue.

“In some places here, there is still sewage running in the streets and many people have to use the degrading bucket system. These issues need to be sorted out,” he says.

Mokoaledi, who has spent most of his life in the area, believes that although residents are now happier with water provision in the township, Tatane’s death remains a very sensitive issue.

“People are still very disappointed at the acquittal of the killer cops,” he says. “They don’t understand how this happened when there was all that footage. I don’t think people will be protesting again any time soon.

“Not because they are satisfied with the service delivery, but because they don’t have a leader. And who would want to be a leader, knowing what happened to Tatane? People are afraid of the police, fearing they may be killed too.”

But despite all that has happened, there is hope.

“I see that the municipality has placed experienced officials in some of the positions now, for the good of the community. As the community, we lost a lot under the previous officials,” he says.

But it is difficult to imagine how the municipality will be able to fix Ficksburg’s crippling unemployment.

“Attention should be given to grooming the youngsters of this area in farming and how lucrative that can be as a career. Farming is very important in this area and many people depend on it for jobs, even though they are paid quite little,” he says.

Mokoaledi says the area, on Lesotho’s border, is missing out on a potentially lucrative economic opportunity, as many Basotho cross the Caledon River to buy essentials in Ficksburg.

“Maybe a big mall could be constructed to make sure they leave more money in our country,” he says. – Athandiwe Saba

» If you live in the Setsoto municipal area and want to alert Mokoaledi to a problem, call 082 586 5600 or send an email to

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