Street a no-go area

2017-05-03 06:01
The approximately 250 m open trench in Mathambo Street that residents complain about, stating it causes great inconvenience.Photo: Teboho Setena

The approximately 250 m open trench in Mathambo Street that residents complain about, stating it causes great inconvenience.Photo: Teboho Setena

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Distressed residents of the Seven Days Location in Bloemfontein bitterly lament the effects of a halted road construction project in Mathambo Street.

A construction company that received a tender to upgrade and pave the street in the trouble-torn Seven Days was forced to stop abruptly three weeks ago after a violent protest broke out.

Displeased residents staged a riot demanding they be employed in development projects underway and involved in all the processes of planning projects.

The violent protest was in defiance against Khosi Mogapi, Ward 3 councillor of the ANC.

Mogapi is accused of getting factions to support her through employment at upgrading projects underway in the area, side-lining them from participating in the processes.

These are improvement projects driven by the Mangaung Metro Municipality.

Speaking on anonymous grounds out of fear of intimidation, residents living in Mathambo Street told Express they bear the brunt of the fiasco which saw the company awarded the tender, leaving trenches open and water pipes and sewage connection pipes uncovered.

Residents owning vehicles said they were even worse off.

“While everyone living in this vicinity is concerned, car owners are risking parking their cars overnight outside their yards. It is a very worrying situation to park your car outside your garage or yard for weeks. We are risking having our insurance not paying if our vehicles are damaged by criminals on the street,” said one resident.

Another resident owning two cars complained that she was unable to use her vehicles.

“I had my car’s clutch broken and damaged after I got stuck in mud trying to enter the yard during the digging of trenches.

“I had certainly hoped that the contractor would be done by now. Our frustration is that we are not getting answered as to when the construction will be finished. It is not that we do not appreciate development, but we are seriously concerned about the chaotic processes,” said the resident.

Residents complained bitterly that the fiasco, arising from political swindle, notable with the incomplete construction, was a great inconvenience.

They described the vicinity as a no-go area.

Express reliably learnt that Mogapi was due to have a meeting with residents over conflicting issues which have led to an abrupt halt of the projects.

Zolile Mangcotywa, ANC chief whip in the Mangaung Metro, revealed earlier that Ward 3 currently does not have a committee to represent the community at projects being run in the area.

At the height of the chaos, angry residents threatened to burn down Mogapi’s house if their grievances are not speedily addressed by the Mangaung mayor, Olly Mlamleli, and the local leadership of the ANC.

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