Mayor denies repairs were done just for Zuma visit

2015-11-06 12:55
(Elizabeth Sejake, City Press)

(Elizabeth Sejake, City Press)

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Mbombela - Mayor of the Bushbuckridge local municipality, Renias Khumalo, has denied that potholes were repaired, streets cleaned and tap water restored just for President Jacob Zuma's visit on Friday.

Khumalo was speaking to a News24 correspondent during a one-on-one interview. “Saying we are doing these things because the president is coming cannot be true," he said.

He said the infrastructure was in place long before Zuma's visit and that potholes were repaired on the road between Dwarsloop and Thulamahashe, not because Zuma is speaking at Thulamahashe Stadium, but because it was part of the provincial government's maintenance plan. Road markings were also painted on to the road.

"The provincial government, which is in charge of that road, came up with a plan saying, 'We are going to fix that road in terms of the interim short-term plan, medium plan and permanent plan'," Khumalo said.

Zuma and 18 Cabinet ministers are visiting Bushbuckridge on Friday following appeals from the community that government intervene and address service delivery issues, specifically water and sanitation, housing, roads, electricity as well as refuse removal.

The visit forms part of the Presidential Siyahlola Monitoring Programme.

The area is home to about 14% of the Mpumalanga province's entire population and is beset by high levels of poverty, crime, unemployment, service delivery backlogs and skills shortages, among others.

Khumalo, however, said more than 90% of residents of Bushbuckridge have access to electricity, water and roads.

“In terms of basic services, from where I am standing, I see serious improvement compared to what Bushbuckridge was like before 1994."

He said reticulation [network of pipes used in irrigation and water supply] is being provided in 14 villages currently.

"We have to do things step by step,” he said.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  mbombela  |  local government  |  service delivery

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