A look back at East Griqualand Fever’s top stories for 2018

2018-12-28 06:00

HERE IS A BRIEF LOOK AT SOME OF OUR BIGGEST STORIES OF THE YEAR:

Harding a city of gold?

AFTER a construction company dug a quarry in KwaMbuthuma Village in Harding in June, an unusual stone was discovered and residents believed it was gold.

When they were convinced that they had struck gold, they used sharp objects and dug the stone with the aim of selling it.

The Umuziwabantu Local Municipality, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Minerals were called in for advice and intervention. A decision to fence the quarry was taken.

Samples of the stone were also taken by the Department of Minerals and results are still withheld. Residents believed that poverty and unemployment would cease when results proved positive.

Joy as Ramaphosa visits Kokstad

WHEN the President Cyril Ramaphosa, visited Kokstad on October 3, there was jubilation in the community. He was accompanied by National Minister of Human Settlements Nomaindia Mfeketo, former Minister of the Department of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba, KwaZulu-Natal MECs and other local politicians.

On the day, he started by opening the Department of Home Affairs local offices at 12 Main Street in Kokstad and moved to Franklin Sports Field where he handed over title deeds to members of the community as part of restoring dignity to them.

Most residents who lived in Franklin have been living in their RDP houses without title deeds for years. He also presented a wheelchair, donated by the Greater Kokstad Municipality, to a disabled woman, Fundani Mdledle.

Before his arrival, a statue of Adam Kok 111 was unveiled by his deputy, David Mbuza during the Heritage Day celebrations held in Riverview Stadium on September 24. The Greater Kokstad Municipal building was also renamed after Adam Kok 111.

Local old age home in the spotlight

THE Elonwabeni Old Age Home at Bongweni Township in Kokstad was in the spotlight since the beginning of the year, following allegations of mismanagement of funds, poor administration, lack of food and electricity for residents.

However, the facility, which has been home to elderly residents from the Harry Gwala District and other areas, survived closure. A decision to move elderly residents to other facilities was granted at a lengthy meeting by local stakeholders and the MEC for the Department of Social Development Weziwe Thusi in July. The decision was reversed after relatives and the community resisted. Elderly residents described their living conditions as “torturous”, in a Fever article published on June 22.

KZN Premier Willies Mchunu visited the facility and tried to intervene.

In November, 2018 the Democratic Alliance in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature tabled a motion calling for the intervention of government.

The DA also called on the Department of Social Development to spare a thought for the senior citizens and staff at Elonwabeni and fast-track proper services before the New Year.

Government properties destroyed as community anger erupts

A R1.9 million library was torched in KwaNokweja village in Ixopo, on July 8. The government library was almost 90% complete, when it was set on fire by the community.

Several schools in the area failed to write June exams as a result of the protest. Three MECs from KwaZulu-Natal held several meetings asking residents to stop protesting and promised to attend to their problems.

However, three government vehicles belonging to the Department of Public Works were burnt at a service delivery protest in Maluti in August. Community members demanded tar roads in their area.

The MEC for the Department of Transport in the Eastern Cape, Weziwe Tikana had visited the area. At the protest, government offices were also vandalised.

A new steering committee was established to monitor the construction of the T69, KwaMzongwana road and other small roads.

Joy as Ramaphosa visits Kokstad

WHEN the National President, Cyril Ramaphosa, visited Kokstad on October 3, there was jubilation in the community. He was accompanied by National Minister of Human Settlements Nomaindia Mfeketo, former Minister of the Department of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba, KwaZulu-Natal MECs and other local politicians.

On the day, he started by opening the Department of Home Affairs local offices at 12 Main Street in Kokstad and moved to Franklin Sports Field where he handed over title deeds to members of the community as part of restoring dignity to them.

Most residents who lived in Franklin have been living in their RDP houses without title deeds for years. He also presented a wheelchair, donated by the Greater Kokstad Municipality, to a disabled woman, Fundani Mdledle.

Before his arrival, a statue of Adam Kok 111 was unveiled by his deputy, David Mbuza during the Heritage Day celebrations held in Riverview Stadium on September 24. The Greater Kokstad Municipal building was also renamed after Adam Kok 111.

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