MAP ‘has failed us’

2016-03-09 06:00
MEMBERS of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) march to the buildings of the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality (MAP) to hand over their memorandum on Thursday (03/03).  Photo: Tladi Moloi

MEMBERS of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) march to the buildings of the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality (MAP) to hand over their memorandum on Thursday (03/03). Photo: Tladi Moloi

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HARRISMITH. – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Harrismith is advocating that the town form its own local municipality and separate from the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality (MAP) ahead of the forthcoming local government elections. The EFF held a march in Harrismithon Thursday (03/03).

Harrismith, halfway between Durban and Johannesburg, is one of three Free State towns which form the MAP Municipality. The other two towns are Kestell and Phuthaditjhaba.

“We want our own municipality, because Harrismith is a town, not a rural area like QwaQwa,” Khehla Makhubo, coordinator, said.

“We want to have our own mayor, who will be based here. We believe in that way, Harrismith will return to its normal state. Our roads are very bad and the municipality is doing nothing about that.

“Actually, they have failed us over many years.”

Makhubo spoke during an interview with Express Eastern Free State on Thursday.

A total of 32 members of the EFF marched from the Intabazwe Location to the municipality’s office in town to hand over a memorandum of grievances.

Apparently, it was not the first time the community of Intabazwe had specifically demanded to be withdrawn from MAP.

A few years ago, they wanted to fall under the Phumelela Local Municipality or KwaZulu-Natal, but that never happened.

The EFF members also demand that the municipality install solar geysers in the entire town of Harrismith.

“The electricity is expensive and that results in some people failing to switch their geysers on.

“So, we are quite sure that they would be relieved, should the municipality install these. They have done that in QwaQwa and we also need them.”

Among the demands are that the municipality offers permanent contracts to the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the Community Work Programme (CWP).

“We want them to be permanent. They should remember, some of those people are bread winners and they need more than the peanuts that they have been given,” Makhubo said.

“We demand access to all the municipality buildings, because they are the community ones (sic), not the ANC buildings,” the memorandum reads.

“We demand a police station and library in Tshiame B.

“We also demand a primary school at Pholani in Intabazwe.”

The EFF has given the municipality 14 days to respond to the memorandum and stated that the demands are not just for negotiation, but that it calls for immediate implementation.

Lebohang Sehlabo, acting unit manager at MAP in Harrismith, confirmed that she had accepted the memorandum and added that she would forward it to their ­dignitaries.

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