Thulamela says money has been spent on Malamulele

2015-02-08 06:00

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The Thulamela municipality in Limpopo claims that a considerable chunk of its budget has been spent on or channelled towards development in Malamulele.

But the small town’s residents, who – all with scores of surrounding villages – want to break away from Thulamela and get their own municipality, refute this.

The name “Malamulele” refers to a small town that boasts a string of cellphone shops, hardware stores, undertakers, ATMs, a KFC and a Shoprite – but is also used to cover about 100 surrounding areas.

Thulamela submitted records to the Municipal Demarcation Board of the money it says has been spent on Malamulele since 2012, and the board used these records to substantiate its decision not to split Malamulele from Thulamela.

The Municipal Demarcation Board said Thulamela had, in those three years, spent:

» more than R200 million on water projects benefiting more than 100 000 households in the greater Malamulele area;

» more than R20 million on sanitation for almost 4 000 houses; and

» R100 million on electrifying 7 000 households.

A 13km road project valued at R92 million appears on Thulamela’s integrated development plan for the 2014/15 financial year.

No details are given in the report about when or precisely where these initiatives happened.

This baffled residents, who told City Press this week they couldn’t point out any of these developments or initiatives.

Resident Ntombi Sunduza said all she can point at in terms of general service delivery from government in Saselamani B village near Xikundu was an RDP house she got in the late 90s, which was later electrified.

All these millions spent, but Sunduza said her village and many others were still struggling. “We have taps in our yards, yes, but they’re dry most of the time. We get water for two days in a week if we’re lucky,” she said.

“There are 1 500 RDP houses here and most of the days we rely on a local businessman in the area who has opened his doors and allowed us to get water from his business complex. Another challenge is pit toilets, which have since filled and most people can’t afford to build new ones.

“We appreciate the RDP houses, but they were all products of shoddy workmanship. They all have cracks and are not safe anymore, but there seems to be no plans to do anything about them and now already people nearly died when their roofs were blown off and walls caved in [last week],” Sunduza said.

“We need our own municipality so we can start getting community halls, employment opportunities and other basic services delivered.”

The CBD does not look bad with tarred roads leading to a number of key points, including Malamulele Hospital and the stadium.

Several villages are connected to town by tarred roads, but many other commuters have to endure bumpy rides on gravel roads connecting them to the nearest tarred roads leading to Malamulele town.

The community of the broader Malamulele believe, however, their area should be more developed than this.

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