Year in review: Free State service delivery goes bust

2011-12-23 14:16

Activist Andries Tatane died on April 13 after he was beaten and shot by police during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg township.

Why it matters:
His death led to an international outcry against police brutality and also put the spotlight on the lack of service delivery by government at all levels.

In fact, service delivery, or the lack thereof, would become this year’s story in the province which will host the governing party’s centenary celebrations next month.

Around the time of Tatane’s death, Free State Premier Ace Magashule was heavily criticised for moving members of the executive council around instead of firing non-performing members.

Msebenzi Zwane, then MEC for cooperative governance and human settlements, came under fire after R263?million in housing grants was re-allocated to Northern Cape because Free State did not meet its housing target.

Now Free State is struggling with a major housing backlog and the provincial department is expected to overspend more than R1?billion.

Poor service delivery in the province was further emphasised a week before the local elections in May when Free State made national headlines with the open-toilet scandal that rocked the ANC.

The unenclosed toilets built in Rammulotsi, near Viljoenskroon, led to the establishment of a national sanitation task team to investigate service delivery.

Last month, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela confirmed that she was investigating Magashule and his controversial multimillion-rand service delivery project, Operation Hlasela. The premier launched the project in 2009.

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