Public Protector drawn into Kriel crisis

2013-07-16 20:20

Johannesburg - Residents of Kriel in Mpumalanga want their town removed from Emalahleni local municipality jurisdiction, the office of the Public Protector said on Tuesday.

They claimed to be victims of extremely poor service delivery from the municipality which was put under administration three months ago.

Locals accused executive mayor Salome Sithole of ignoring their complaints and have since called for an independent municipality.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela visited Kriel on Tuesday where she spoke to residents.

"Issues raised during the dialogue included sewerage problems, poor road infrastructure, insufficient street lighting, which created an opportunity for criminal activities and drug abuse and unacceptable delays in the provision of low cost housing," said Madonsela's spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi.

"The community also complained about police services that are allegedly centralised in Emalahleni, the unavailability of a local South African social security agency pay-point, inaccessibility of agricultural land for subsistence farming, provision of electricity for new households, and mining companies that allegedly failed to develop the community that surrounds the mines."

It was alleged that clinics and hospitals had insufficient medical supplies and staff, and a mobile clinic facility that catered for the farming community was no longer operational.

Medical facilities meant to operate for 24 hours a day only opened for a few hours daily and there were problems with the ambulance service which was also allegedly centralised in Emalahleni, said Masibi.

Sithole said she was aware of most of the issues raised in Kriel.

Commitment to fix

"The issue of street lighting and potholes, for example, are in our integrated development plan," she said.

Theo van Vuuren, who was appointed administrator of the municipality, said most of the problems in Kriel should have been addressed earlier.

"However, we did not have vehicles, equipment and there was no communication," he said.

Van Vuuren said the potholes and street lights in the area would be fixed within the current financial year while the sewage problems would be attended to "within a day of two". The community would also be able to access land for subsistence farming.

Madonsela would work with the Mpumalanga provincial government and officials from the Emalahleni municipality to address the issues raised.

"We were pleased with the commitment to fix some of the urgent grievances," she said.

Her visit to Kriel focused on strengthening government's ability to deliver on its development goals.

She will go to Nelspruit on Wednesday.

  • Godfrey Welman - 2013-07-16 20:50

    Another well run ANC Municipality, bring out the Poo Brigade.

  • proudlysa - 2013-07-16 21:00

    Vote DA and things will be much better!!!

  • Philip Johnson - 2013-07-16 21:05

    Keep voting ANC and the poo will pile-up.

      Colin Dovey - 2013-07-16 22:17

      Past No 1 until it becomes No2?

  • Cheryl Luff - 2013-07-16 21:05

    Try live in Emalahleni (Witbank) no street lights for years. Sewerage running down past my house for 3 days. Pot holes delux. Although since Mr v Vuuren arrived 3 months ago we have been receiving water on a more regular basis. 7 Straight days with water. Have not had that in years.

      Anti-PC - 2013-07-16 21:08

      And how much money do you think the government wasted on changing the name??? I can just shake my head in disbelief.

  • Altus Kirsten - 2013-07-16 21:08

    Keep voting ANC and see this continue.

      Maurice Shilubane - 2013-07-16 22:08

      We'll vote ANC till Jesus returns bcos we can see people's lives changing for better. Viva alliance

      Colin Dovey - 2013-07-16 22:20

      In ante-deluvian times there were no wheels its backwards to the future....

      Jason Hepple - 2013-07-16 22:25

      Maurice... Did you read the article? Waahahahahaha!

  • Al Loots - 2013-07-16 21:55

    Thus, people distance themselves from that which they find to be of corrupt character.

  • jungleboy - 2013-07-16 22:35

    Congratulations ANC you have done another fantastic job! Please give yourself a big bonus and buy a big black Merc for the mayor. It wonderful to live in paradise. Thank you.

  • LĂ©viter Au-dessus des Montagnes-Bleues - 2013-07-17 01:01

    Politicians BLAH blah blah, but none seem to get it that 80% of SA are doffer than than the roots of the grassroots per Moeletsi Mbeki debate AND that 67% of ANC voters DO NOT WORK. It follows that all even commenting possibly have education and for example Geography wrapped under their heads! Now consider those that have no education and experience the entire world by EXPERIENTIAL events and instances in fits and starts. NOW you can start to comprehend the divide between the 'happy happpeee prancee prancers' and the few that actually WORK and DO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE. Its the DUTY of the educated to take the hands of those less fortunate and protect them through nurturing and NOT allowing beasts of entitlement to subjugate them forever, with small packets of maize meal and a T Shirt and some cultural sing songs over tribal orientated radio stations carefully deployed. AMANDLA Caligula of Nkandla, heinous 783 villian.

  • Deon De Villiers - 2013-07-17 01:37

    Maurice your fool. Did you read the artical. The people is struckling under the ANC. But you will stil vote for them? Maby you have the water tender there?

  • Deon De Villiers - 2013-07-17 01:48

    Maurice ha ha your fool did you even read the artical? Are u scared of losing your poo tender?

  • Lisa Jansen van Vuuren - 2013-07-17 05:32

    This country is a JOKE!!

  • Leon Toerien - 2013-07-17 07:21

    The Witbank people also want out of Emalahleni Council!

  • Arthur Salvado - 2013-07-17 08:01

    Once a year a group of us do a round the country bike trip of about 6,000ks and mostly on back roads through all the small towns etc. eish guys, this country is in a mess. Small towns have no rules. Traffic lights have long stopped operating, potholes big enough to swallow a bike or bakkie, pedestrians and cattle pay no attention to traffic and .......... the filth is unbelievable. All these towns were in perfect working order some years back. What happened ? The ANC happened. It's shameful and we want tourists .

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