Tatane Project: Meet Balfour’s unofficial mayor

2013-06-09 14:00

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Mathuto Rakometsi (24) hails from the Gauteng township of Vosloorus, but after a year living in Siyathemba township near Balfour, she calls the place home.

“It’s got very interesting dynamics. I wasn’t politically inclined until I came here. Everyone from the young to the old has a political opinion – good or bad – and I’ve grown to love this place,” she says.

Rakometsi has accepted the challenge of being our shadow mayor for the ailing Dipaleseng municipality, and will be keeping a keen eye on service delivery there.

The public relations graduate is working as a communications intern in the Thusong service centre – one of 170 one-stop service centres in the country offering services from various government departments, including Home Affairs, labour, the SA Social Security Agency, social development, health, the SA Post Office and agriculture.

She says that since the violent service-delivery protests in 2009 and 2010, the municipality has done very little to fulfil its promises to residents.

“There are very small changes that occur at a snail’s pace. Local people are territorial, but they don’t have the skills to be employed in their municipality, hence most people working there are not from here,” she says.

“I think that skills training should be the priority. It’s a long-term solution, but it’s where we need to start.”

Rakometsi believes Dipaleseng Mayor Sarah Nhlapho needs to be surrounded by qualified officials to be able to do her job.

“I’ve heard her reading a prepared speech and it was very horrible. She was perfect when speaking impromptu and radiated warmth towards the people,” she says.

» If you live in Dipaleseng and want to alert Rakometsi to a service-delivery issue, please contact her on 076 193 9685

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