Zuma's office praised
Linda de Beer
Johannesburg - A woman who is fighting to improve service delivery in her town has praised President Jacob Zuma's office for responding to her complaints.
The reaction is "the quickest I've ever had from any governmental department", said Carin Visser, chairperson of Sannieshof's residents and ratepayers' association (Sibu), on Monday.
Visser is now known nationally for taking her attempts to improve municipal service delivery and conditions for the residents of Sannieshof and Agisanang in the North West to the highest possible level.
She arrived at Zuma's office in Pretoria with several files full of data on Monday.
The president himself was not there, but the meeting was held after Visser had sent him two letters over the past three weeks, and his office asked to meet her.
In those letters, she paints a picture of administrative and financial mismanagement by the Tswaing municipality, the effect of this on the water and sewerage infrastructure, and how all attempts at solving these problems have failed.
Zuma's office responded quite quickly to her letters, she said.
On Saturday she first thought someone was playing the fool with her, when the man on the telephone said he's from "the president's office".
She now hopes the meeting doesn't "get buried in documents and files, but will be turned into action".
Sibu and Visser were in the news last week when they brought an urgent court interdict to force the Tswaing municipality to come up with a plan for sustainable and effective service delivery and administration.
The high court in Mafikeng rejected this application, but this did not discourage Visser and Sibu from preparing for another application - this time to force Tswaing to install a water chlorinator.
"I asked the president's office to intervene and to give Tswaing instructions which will allow us to have the water chlorinator installed.
"If that doesn't happen, we'll bring a court application," said Visser.
Water contaminated with sewage
Water analyses showed that the water at Agisanang and large parts of Sannieshof is contaminated with raw sewage.
Sibu also wants the municipality to switch on the power to the local sewerage plant so that effluent water can be pumped to agricultural land, and not into the Harts River.
Polluted river water has already made the underground water resources of two farms downstream unsuitable for human consumption.
Abram Mohwa, an official in the public relations department of Zuma's office, who received Visser's documents, said the merits of Sibu's complaints must now be investigated.
According to him, hard work is being done to respond as soon as possible to all complaints from the public. The instruction in this regard came from Zuma himself, Mohwa confirmed.