Independent candidate wins in Balfour

2011-05-19 13:41

Residents of the Dipaleseng municipality in Balfour, Mpumalanga, have voted in an independent councillor and booted out an ANC official.

Mafunda Makhubu, who stood as an independent candidate in yesterday’s elections, received a whooping 68% of the vote cast in ward 4 in Siyathemba township. The ANC won four while the DA got one seat.

Makhubu is one of several community members who were endorsed to stand as independents by the community following their dissatisfaction with the lack of service delivery in the area.

Makhubu won his ward with a convincing 952 margin. He received a total of 1 452 votes out of the 2 106 cast.

The last two years has seen Balfour, especially Siyathemba, going up in smoke because of a lack of service delivery. A library and a satellite police station have been set alight in the township and have not been replaced. The concerns of the community have also caught the eye of President Jacob Zuma, who has visited the area twice since he came into office in 2009.

The Public Protector’s office last year found that in ward 4, where Makhubu hails from, 92 houses did not have toilets, even though the housing specification show that they were supposed to have toilets.

In a race against time – after the community’s vote of confidence in independent candidates – acting Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nathi Mthethwa visited Balfour last Friday to reveal projects that the government has put in place following Zuma’s visit.

Mthethwa said significant progress had been registered with regard to sanitation, where in ward 4 (also known as Mandela Section) a total of 74 sewer connections had been completed and an additional 156 VIP toilets constructed in farm areas.

He said 23 houses that had not been finished in ward 4 had now been finished, with toilets put in and roofs and cracks on the wall fixed.

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