Madonsela, HRC to tackle service delivery in embattled municipality

2012-09-22 07:35

A Mpumalanga municipality which had been placed under administration twice since 2005 – and a hotbed for service-delivery protests – is under investigation for failing residents.

The Thaba Chweu municipality in Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg) will have to answer critical service-delivery questions to the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) following a complaint by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The DA’s complaint comes on the back of issues raised by the community that include alleged corruption and maladministration, water interruptions, RDP houses built without water and sewerage connections, and the poor conditions of sewer treatment plants that cause a spillage of sewerage into the streets.

Madonsela will deal with the corruption and maladmistration allegations, while the SAHRC will tackle the rest of the issues.

“After careful assessment of the complaint, I have determined that the allegation warrant a preliminary investigation,” Madonsela said in correspondence to the DA.

The SAHRC has instructed the municipality to respond to the allegations by no later than October 12.

Mpumalanga DA leader Anthony Benadie said cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Madala Masuku should consider putting the municipality under administration.

“While residents of this beleaguered municipality are far from being out of the woods, the DA is confident that the two investigations will add to the already mounting pressure on Masuku to intervene and dissolve the council according to Section 139(1(c) of the Constitution, as requested by the community at large,” said Benadie.

Masuku’s spokesperson, Simphiwe Kunene, could not respond to written questions yesterday.

The municipality has been placed under administration twice since 2005. The last time was in 2009 when residents went on a month-long service delivery protest that resulted in former mayor Clara Ndlovu and 10 councillors being recalled by the ANC.

This year two community protests have taken place.

In April angry residents burned down two houses that belong to a councillor, Idos Mokoena, and ANC chairperson in the Bohlabela region, Gillion Mashego.

The residents accused Mokoena of being arrogant when they asked him to solve their water problems.

They also accused the ANC chief whip in the Thaba Chweu municipality, Condrey Mashego, of using material meant for RDP houses to build his own house.

In July, the residents protested and five councillors threatened to resign when the ANC appointed a mayor they did not like.

They also complained about the protection of a traffic cop accused of embezzling funds.


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